Valley thieves target truck tailgates

FRESNO, Calif.

Police across the Valley are warning truck owners to beware of tailgate thieves. Victims in Madera are left in shock after their pricy piece of property was taken over the weekend.

Alexa Coronado says around 8:30 p.m. Saturday she heard a loud bang against her garage door. So, she and her mom went out front to see what happened. "And then she sees some guys take off," Coronado said. "And I was just like 'I think they stole something.' she looked at the car, at the tailgate, and it was gone."

And exactly three miles away, on that same night, Rigo Pulido arrived home to find the same thing stolen from him. He's just grateful he wasn't home, concerned for a possible confrontation.

"I say, what happens if I go outside and I find these guys over here, I don't know what's gonna happen," Pulido said. "They're gonna be outside mad, you know."

Madera police say in addition to both Toyota Tacoma tailgates being ripped off five Ford tailgates were stolen in the city recently.

The crime is valley-wide. This weekend, Clovis police posted this warning to citizens on Facebook: "If you have a truck, get a locking tailgate. Thieves are targeting them."

Mario Herrera owns the Pick-Em Up Truck Store in Central Fresno. He says every day he's contacted about replacing missing tailgates. "Most of the customers coming in looking for the tailgate lock, usually they've been taken, some body has taken advantage of them and removed the tailgate," Herrera said.

Herrera showed Action News without tailgate locks crooks don't even need tools to rip you off. Installing a lock will cost you, but not nearly as much as replacing a stolen tailgate.

Herrera says depending on the style of tailgate, like already having a lock or even a back-up camera the cost can run anywhere from $1,000 up to as much as $8,000.

The locks usually cost between $30 and $130, according to Herrera.

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