After a recent string of tailgate thefts, 13 Action News Crime and Safety Expert Randy Sutton gives some advice in case drivers are targeted.
Retired Las Vegas police Lt. Sutton says the chances of locating a replacement tailgate online that was stolen are pretty high and buying it puts you in the same boat as the thief.
"You're also taking the risk of a possession of stolen property charge," he said. "Is it worth saving a few hundred bucks in order to get a tailgate and risk getting a felony charge on your record?"
Sutton advises rather than buying a replacement online to go to a dealership or legitimate parts place.
Sutton adds that Las Vegas police have a few tricks to eventually nail the people doing it.
"What a lot of people don't realize is there are hidden serial numbers on vehicles so you may think you're home free, but probably not," he said.
Sutton says in many cases, someone who steals a tailgate already has a buyer with a specific make and model in mind so it's not entirely random. It's also usually not someone who's just ripping off a tailgate to sell it for scrap metal.