WARSAW, Mo. (AP) __ Auto dealers in southwest Missouri are coping with a new tactic by metal thieves __ grabbing tailgates off pickup trucks in a matter of seconds.

In the town of Warsaw, Josh Griffin of Mid Missouri AutoSports says four trucks on his lot have had their tailgates ripped off recently. Another Warsaw dealer has lost 17 tailgates in the past year. The heavy, steel tailgates are tempting because they can be removed in less than 15 seconds by releasing a couple of levers.

Griffin says they cost $500 to $1,000 to replace. Warsaw Police Chief David Jones says he’s been sending more patrols around dealerships, telling officers to cruise the lots instead of just driving by.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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