Thieves targeting truck tailgates in Lee County

Posted at 6:52 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 08:43:10-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla., - Surveillance video captured the moment someone stole a tailgate from a white pickup truck parked in front of a Lehigh Acres home Tuesday.

"It's hard to take as a business owner. It's our 7th one in the last three years. There's definitely a trend towards stealing tailgates," said Rob Anderson, Vice President of South Florida Excavation Inc.

Surveillance video at an employees home shows a dark car pulling up in front of the driveway. Then a man gets out, walks to the back of the truck that's backed in, wiggles the tailgate until it comes off and leaves the area. The entire ordeal happens in less than 90 seconds.

Anderson says thieves may be targeting tailgates to sell online. "They'll take tailgates for Ford's cause that's what's in demand," he said.

Anderson says by locking their tailgates with a tailgate lock or using a hose clamp at the hinge of the tailgate to secure it with a screwdriver and hammer, they hope to deter crooks from doing it again.

Hose clamps can typically be purchased at auto repair shops for less than $5, Anderson says.

"They'd be there five or ten minutes. They want something quick and easy and that's going to deter them enough," Anderson says.

Lee County Sheriff's Office is also investigating another incident Tuesday in San Carlos Park where someone removed a tailgate from a white pickup truck near Holly Road. If you have any information on either of these cases, you can call Crime Stoppers.