|Updated: 7/27/2012 6:30 pm
||Published: 7/27/2012 5:41 pm
In this down economy it seems thieves will steal anything to make a quick buck. Now crooks are bringing new meaning to the word "tailgating."
Over the past few months pickup truck tailgate thefts have been on the rise.
Tailgates are heavy, but with two people who know what they're doing they can be stolen fairly easily and quickly.
John Druktenis found that out firsthand.
"I think just a little bit after 10 we heard a commotion, but nothing out of the normal and I didn't think anything of it," Druktenis said.
The next morning he walked out of his south Tulsa home to find his tailgate gone.
Druktenis is one of at least 10 people in south Tulsa who have become tailgate theft victims in the past few months. But Mike Fugate with Truck N Stuff says there have been many more than 10.
"We've had a lot of customers in in the last few weeks that have had their tailgates stolen," Fugate said. "They're in looking for protection for their tailgates they're replacing."
"They'll take them to salves," Det. Jillian Roberson of the Tulsa Police Department said. "They will also sell them on Craigslist or another online business that sells products."
Roberson said some thieves will even find ads on Craigslist from people looking to buy a tailgate, and then go out and steal that specific make and model to sell to them.
It's a tough crime to solve since tailgates are pretty standard and not easily identifiable. But Roberson said if pickup owners make some sort of distinct mark on their tailgate it can make it easier for detectives to find it if it's stolen.
"There are multiple times that we do come across large amounts of stolen property, and we may get lucky and find their property," Roberson said.
Roberson said the best way to keep thieves from being able to steal your tailgate is to have a tailgate lock. Many trucks come with a tailgate lock from the factory. For those that don't, you can buy a tailgate lock at most auto parts or truck accessory stores.
Druktenis said he learned his lesson, and will always lock his tailgate in the future.
"I have taken them off before, you know," he said. "But, yeah, I never thought someone would steal one."