Tailgate theft becoming a big problem in the Valley, Department of Public Safety says

Posted at 9:11 PM, May 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-22 10:04:37-04

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is revealing some major car crime trends they are currently seeing in the Valley.

Detective Charlie Warner says tailgate thefts are a big problem for pickup truck owners.

"What we are seeing is a growing trend on Craigslist, OfferUp, letgo, all your Internet-based sales," said Detective Warner.

Warner says thieves can steal the tailgate and put the stolen item on the internet for sale.

"Tailgates can go from $500-$5000 to replace. So that's an easy quick grab," added Warner.

ABC15 searched online and found hundreds of tailgates for sale. Police say there’s a good chance some of them are stolen.

Police say tailgates usually do not have identification markings, which makes them difficult to track.

The second trend popping up is perhaps the most disturbing, according to DPS.

Kids as young as 12 years old targeting unlocked cars to steal.

"The other thing that we are seeing is home burglaries. The kids are breaking into the homes, they're going straight for the keys to the car and loading up all your valuables in your car and I'm driving off in your car,” explained Warner.

The third trend on the rise centers around trailers.

All shapes and sizes are being targeted right now by thieves.

DPS has at least 40 in their impound lot — all of them connected to theft investigations.

Right now is the time to take action to protect your belongings.

DPS has some recommendations:

  1. Make your trailer unique to you. Place your initials somewhere hidden in case the thieves scratch off the VIN number so it can be traced back to you.
  2. Hide your car keys, even while you are at home.
  3. Never leave your keys in your vehicle.           
  4. If you are buying things off the internet, if a deal is too good to be true, it probably is.
  5. The Arizona Attorney General has a website to make it easy to check for stolen items.