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Archive for Friday, December 5, 2008

Cache of stolen tailgates found; police locating owners

Lawrence Police Officers Rob Murry, left, and Adam Heffley reattach the tailgate to Trey Meyer's Chevrolet 1500 in the parking garage near Ninth and New Hampshire streets. Police have received numerous reports of stolen tailgates recently and are questioning three suspects about the thefts.

Lawrence Police Officers Rob Murry, left, and Adam Heffley reattach the tailgate to Trey Meyer's Chevrolet 1500 in the parking garage near Ninth and New Hampshire streets. Police have received numerous reports of stolen tailgates recently and are questioning three suspects about the thefts.

December 5, 2008, 3:12 a.m. Updated December 5, 2008, 3:16 p.m.

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Officers kept these stolen tailgates in the back of a police van Friday morning as they attempted to locate owners. Lawrence police are questioning three suspects about a slew of recent tailgate thefts.

Officers kept these stolen tailgates in the back of a police van Friday morning as they attempted to locate owners. Lawrence police are questioning three suspects about a slew of recent tailgate thefts.

Lawrence police returned several stolen tailgates to their owners early Friday morning after locating three male suspects with a truck bed full of tailgates.

Police received a call about 1 a.m. from a resident in the 1600 block of West Third Street who witnessed the theft of a neighbor’s tailgate. Capt. Tarik Khatib of the Lawrence Police Department said officers were able to find a vehicle that matched the description given by the witness.

Police said they interviewed the suspects to find area trucks with stolen tailgates. No arrests have been made yet.

“We’re trying to figure out where they all go,” Khatib said.

He said that tailgates were typically stolen and then sold on the black market. A search on the Kansas City, Mo., Craigslist yields hundreds of results for tailgates, ranging in price from about $30 to $300.

Trey Meyer’s truck was one of several that Lawrence police located without a tailgate. The Lawrence resident had left his white Chevrolet 1500 in the parking garage near Ninth and New Hampshire streets Thursday night. About 1:30 a.m. Friday, he received a call from police dispatchers saying his tailgate had been recovered.

Meyer said, “I got to thinking, ‘Is it the economy? Is there a market for tailgates now?’” He said that even though he was annoyed by the situation, he felt fortunate that nothing else was taken.

“I might give thought to a tailgate lock,” he said, “but I’ll probably practice not leaving my truck in the garage downtown.”

Lawrence police officers Adam Heffley and Rob Murry helped reattach Meyer’s tailgate to his truck. Both officers said the theft of tailgates is a fairly new problem locally.

Police spokeswoman Kim Murphree said thefts also were reported in the 200 block of Arkansas, the 300 block of Maine and at Motel 6, 1130 N. Third St.

Khatib said police have received several reports in the last few weeks about stolen tailgates. He said Friday morning’s tailgate thefts could be linked to other recent events.

“We’d like to fully investigate the circumstances and then present it as a package to the district attorney to determine charges,” Khatib said. He said the investigation would likely take a few weeks.

Vehicle owners whose tailgates are missing are asked to call Douglas County dispatchers at (785) 832-7509.

— Crime and safety reporter Jesse Fray contributed information to this story.

Comments

imagold 6 years ago

Hubby thinks they were going to have a tailgate party.

Mike Blur 6 years ago

Maybe RFID technology should move in to the auto parts arena? Just a thought....

BigPrune 6 years ago

Some environmentalists believe removing a tailgate will enhance the aerodynamics of a pickup truck making it more fuel efficient when in actuality it creates a parachute effect creating greater drag. Were the culprits environmentalists?

bizarre 6 years ago

They were going green, by helping truck owners save gas!

coolmarv 6 years ago

Just 'tailgating' before the Insight Bowl.

verity 6 years ago

TOB and autie get the Stephen Colbert award for best new word.Can you please give us the pronunciation so I can use it to impress my friends (and not friends)?

leadstone 6 years ago

Kinda makes you scratch yer head a bit.

fascinating_person 6 years ago

Actually, that episode of Myth Busters indicated that leaving the tailgate up provided BETTER gas mileage than leaving it down (or removing it completely, I guess).So I betcha the culprits are ecological terrorists. Better up the threat level to red.

TheStig 6 years ago

Despite all of Lawrence's pretense to the contrary, nothing defines a hick Kansas town better than a rash of tail gate thefts.

verity 6 years ago

My pleasure to give you a reason to celebrate, autie.A few years ago someone was tailgating me and neglected to stop when I did. The replacement tailgate for my pickup was a used one, so maybe these guys were going to sell them to repair shops.Or could be some of our threadfriends who have busted the myth of global warming and want more pollution to ward off the coming glacial age.

TacoBob 6 years ago

Had my catalytic converter stolen off my truck. Was parked at a Park and Ride, and they cut it off in the middle day!! Came back from work, started my truck and obviously something was wrong. Thought my muffler had fallen off. Trouble is my truck has 4 of these things, and they cut out 3. Cost me over $1,800 bucks, only some of which is covered by insurance. What goes around comes around, so they will get theirs someday. Never knew thieves would target such an item. Crazy.

labmonkey 6 years ago

If you have a truck with a lock on your tailgate, do the smart thing and lock it. Removing a tailgate from a truck is very easy.

Crossfire 6 years ago

...so, I was drivin' down town in my pick up truck....just lookin' 'round when I see some tail...gate....so I tried to pick up some tail...gate....and I did pick up some tail...gate....and then I looked for some more tail..gate to pick up....and I found some more tail...gate....and picked it up too....then I picked up some more tail...gate....and I had a hole bed full of tail...gate....butt I swear I was just pickin' up tail...gates....so I could get all this tail...gate home.

verity 6 years ago

Thanks, TOB, I think I have it now. Unfortunately I've forgotten how to use it.The awards ceremony will be a brunch pushed forward to noon---hopefully all will be up and not started drinking too much at that time. A clip-on bow tie will be just fine (no bolos, we want to keep this elitist). Unless Colbert has already made up the word, and that would really suck, because I know he would wag his finger quite severely and perhaps sue.totally_dick, I thought that a little odd too. Must have been a slow night.I'm going to go out and check my tailgate now.

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