PHOENIX - You may be surprised to find crooks have been increasingly swiping tailgates off the back of pickup trucks. Sometimes it's happening right in front of homes or in broad daylight.
But you don't have to fall victim. ABC15 found a 90 cent solution to save you the headache and the expense.
It can take 30 seconds for a thief to dismantle and steal a tailgate off a pickup truck. And it can cost hundreds of dollars to replace it.
Bill Vipperman owns Ray & Bob's Truck Salvage in Phoenix. He's helped several customers replace their truck tailgates after thieves stole them. A few years ago, he even had to replace his own, when he fell victim to thieves.
"I've had friends and neighbors who've lost their tailgates in their driveway with the alarm on. Because you don't really jar the vehicle enough to set off the alarm," Vipperman said.
But Vipperman found a simple and cheap way to stop the thieves. Instead of buying a lock, he spends 90 cents on a hose clamp. He just wraps it around the notch on the quick release of the tailgate.
"If you think about it, and you can set this where the screw head is on the bottom side, it's really difficult for somebody to get into it and then loosen it up," he said.
In Glendale, police say thieves are targeting F150s-- models 2007-2013 and Chevy 1500s. Those are common vehicles targeted by thieves.
Vipperman says he gets a call about once a week from a customer who's become a theft victim. So he makes sure to share his simple trick.
"It's part of our way of giving back to the public that's kept us here for 47 years," Vipperman said.