Tailgate theft ring busted - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Tailgate theft ring busted

By Jonathon Hardison

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Are truck tailgates the new copper for thieves looking to make a quick buck?

Birmingham police arrested three men suspected of stealing tailgates throughout the Birmingham metro area.

David Smith, Jason Dowling, and Roy Mitchell, all of Leeds, are all charged with receiving stolen property.

Police say the three men stole at least 27 tailgates in the last month or so from at least six different cities including Leeds, Hoover, Homewood, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, and the UAB campus.

"A lot of it was crime of opportunity," said Sgt. Johnny Williams. "We believe they just found a couple of trucks and they checked the tailgates to see if they were locked. If they weren't locked, they managed to take them from the vehicles and sell them for scrap."

An employee at the Worley Brothers scrap yard called police when they got suspicious of the suspects trying to sell the tailgates here, and now police are cautioning drivers to lock up your tailgate if you can. But many trucks don't have a locking gate.

"Well you can't lock the tailgate," said one pickup driver in Homewood. "Well if I had a camper top you could lock it, put this one just has a pull handle."

"I had no idea, I wouldn't even think about it," said another driver. "I don't have a lock on it or anything. I guess I'll go get me a master key and lock now."          

The thieves were only getting about $50 per tailgate at the scrap yard, but drivers are paying as much as $2,000 to replace them.

"I've never heard of this before," Sgt. Williams said. "As I said, they're constantly reinventing ways or coming up with ways of making money, so this if the first I've heard of it."

If your tailgate was stolen recently and you think it may be one of the ones police have recovered, Birmingham police are asking you to call your local police department first, and they can coordinate with Birmingham's burglary unit to see if your tailgate is one of the ones they've got.

Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Undersea quake sends Alaskans fleeing from feared tsunami

    Undersea quake sends Alaskans fleeing from feared tsunami

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 5:28 AM EST2018-01-23 10:28:12 GMT
    Wednesday, January 24 2018 1:53 AM EST2018-01-24 06:53:16 GMT

    A magnitude 8.2 earthquake off Alaska's Kodiak Island prompted a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada's British Columbia while the remainder of the U.S. West Coast was under a watch.

    More >>

    A magnitude 8.2 earthquake off Alaska's Kodiak Island prompted a tsunami warning for a large swath of coastal Alaska and Canada's British Columbia while the remainder of the U.S. West Coast was under a watch.

    More >>
  • Classmate: Girl tortured with siblings was bullied, frail

    Classmate: Girl tortured with siblings was bullied, frail

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 8:49 PM EST2018-01-24 01:49:21 GMT
    Wednesday, January 24 2018 1:51 AM EST2018-01-24 06:51:16 GMT

    A classmate says the oldest of the 13 California siblings who authorities said were imprisoned by their parents was frail, smelly and picked on as a grade school student in Texas.

    More >>

    A classmate says the oldest of the 13 California siblings who authorities said were imprisoned by their parents was frail, smelly and picked on as a grade school student in Texas.

    More >>
  • In Oscar nominations, fresh voices lead the way

    In Oscar nominations, fresh voices lead the way

    Tuesday, January 23 2018 12:18 AM EST2018-01-23 05:18:02 GMT
    Wednesday, January 24 2018 1:49 AM EST2018-01-24 06:49:52 GMT

    Guillermo del Toro's lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" will vie for the most Oscar nominations Tuesday, but just as much attention may be focused on categories where women could history.

    More >>

    Guillermo del Toro's lavish monster romance "The Shape of Water" will vie for the most Oscar nominations Tuesday, but just as much attention may be focused on categories where women could history.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly