More pickup truck tailgates taken

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 16, 2014

Thieves have not stopped stealing tailgates from Chevrolet pickups in the southwestern part of the county, they’ve just expanded into other parts of Rowan County.
Two more thefts have been reported to law enforcement, days after four pickup owners told authorities someone lifted the tailgates from the back of their vehicles overnight. Law enforcement officials can only speculate as to what thieves intend to do with tailgates, saying they could possibly be used for scrap.
Three residents reported thefts Sunday to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, saying the thieves took the tailgates overnight Saturday.
Salisbury Police officials are also looking into who took a tailgate from a Rowan Mill Road home.
The most recent occurrences are in the 100 block of Scottsdale Drive and the 2600 block of Airport Road.
One resident told investigators someone took the tailgate off a 1999 Chevrolet Z71 he uses primarily for work. He noticed the tailgate was gone Wednesday morning when he was going to haul off some trash, a report said.
He saw the tailgate was missing from his rearview mirror.
A 2006 Chevrolet Silverado was the target at Airport Road. The owner told a deputy the truck was parked outside his home Saturday night. When he came outside Sunday morning, he found the tailgate was missing. He thought some of his friends were playing a prank on him. He saw an article in the paper and realized it was no joke.
All but one vehicle was a Chevrolet pickup. One truck, a GMC Sierra, belonged to Hoyle Rayfield, who also initially thought his missing tailgate was a joke.
Rayfield, who lives in the 100 block of Bernhardt Road, lives less than half a mile from another victim. He discovered the theft while taking his trash bin to the road Sunday morning. He spoke to a dealer who estimated the cost to replace the tailgate at $2,050. That was much higher than the $800 Rayfield estimated.
The other thefts occurred in the 1600 block of Grace Church Road and the 4700 block of Mooresville Road.
Investigators ask anyone with information about the thefts to contact law enforcement via Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.