Tailgates being swiped from trucks in Rowan Co

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - A troubling national trend in the theft of truck tailgates has now hit in the Rowan County area.  In recent days there have been nearly a dozen tailgates swiped from the back of trucks in Rowan County.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau says it's been on the rise for the last four years across the country, and now thieves in this area are starting to "tailgate."

My friend Brian demonstrated how quickly the tailgate can come off of his Dodge, and from start to finish, it took eleven seconds to pull the tailgate from the truck and walk away.

And that comes as no surprise to Vic Bare of Grace Church Road.

"I got up about 7 o'clock one morning, raised the blinds, looked out, that's the first thing I seen," Bare said.

He's now using a cargo net on the back of his truck.

"I just thought to myself, now who in the world would steal a tailgate?"

Law enforcement would love to know that too.  In Rowan County all the tailgates stolen have been from Chevrolet or GMC pick ups, and those trucks are everywhere.

"I thought golly, I'm a victim as well," Morris told WBTV.

It happened to Doug Morris just off Faith Road.

"Went out Tuesday morning to dry my truck off, looked out back and the tailgate was missing," Morris added.

And it can be an expensive fix, depending on the model of the truck, whether or not it has a back up camera, and paint and decal options, it can run over $2000.

And for truck owners, it's not just the expense, it's the inconvenience, and the confusion.

"Probably for scrap," Bare added.  "But as expensive as they are, I figure they're going to go and try to sell them."

Sheriff's investigators say Bare is probably right, that it's likely someone who then sells the tailgate for scrap.  Most of the ones taken here are from trucks that are at least 5 years old.

Nationally, Texas is at the top of the list when it comes to tailgate theft.   Some companies are now making special locks that prevent thieves from removing the tailgates.

Last week two people were arrested in Kentucky for stealing tailgates from Ford pick up trucks and trying to sell them to local car dealers.