Someone might be planning a big tailgate party in Bismarck.

Bismarck police took nine reports on Thursday of tailgates being stolen from pickups. Most of the thefts appear to have occurred Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Sgt. Mark Buschena said seven Chevrolet pickup tailgates, one GMC tailgate and one Dodge tailgate were reported stolen across Bismarck. While taking a report at one home, an officer noticed a tailgate missing from a neighbor’s pickup; however, the officer was not able to speak to the pickup owner to find out if the tailgate had been stolen.

Duane Vetter, owner of Duane’s Body and Frame Shop, said taking a tailgate off a pickup is a quick job.

“If it takes you 10 seconds, you’re slow,” he said.

Lighter tailgates might be around 70 pounds, while bigger ones range from 70 to 100 pounds, Vetter said. Customers brought in two Chevrolet 2500s on Thursday that had tailgates stolen.

“That’s a one-man operation,” he said about removing a tailgate from that size of pickup.

Used tailgates may be worth $500 to $600, while a new one, painted with a new shell, latches and handles, would run $1,800, Vetter said. Though tailgates do have resale value, Vetter doubts they would find any buyers at the salvage yards in the area, as the people at the yards would know something was up if a load of tailgates came in at once.

“It’s got to be pranks,” he said.

via Tailgates missing across Bismarck.