LINCOLN (CBS13) — Police are issuing a word of warning to truck owners after a rash of tailgates were ripped off.

“In the past three days we’ve taken three reports of tailgate thefts from white Ford F250 trucks,” said Lincoln Police Sgt. Matt Alves.

He says these trucks didn’t have locks and were parked in neighborhoods in Lincoln Crossing.

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“Modern tailgates are getting quite sophisticated, they have lights, cameras, fold-out steps, hydraulic assist, so there are a number of parts that are quite expensive,” he said.

No one knows that better than Clark Magee, owner and operator of the 16th Street Auto Body Shop in Sacramento.

“Just like anything that’s locked, it can still be taken,” he said.

He sees this crime happen all the time.

“Minutes, absolutely just minutes to take a tailgate off,” he says in some case even seconds. “This would be very easy to steal also. It has a lock on it as well as the camera, so it would be very expensive tailgate.”

Magee says the theft is more common now because crooks are finding it’s a lucrative crime.

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“The price of tailgates has gone up so much, some of the newer tailgates sell up to $5,000,” he adds.

While it happens in Sacramento, officers in Lincoln say the recent rash is unusual.

So how do you protect yourself from becoming a victim?

“Back your truck up at your house or back it up to another vehicle to prevent access,” Alves said.

There are also aftermarket locks you can buy to make it harder to steal. By taking extra steps Magee says you can avoid finding your tailgate on Craigslist.