Do Tonneau Covers Get Stolen [The Proper Security Ideas!]

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Written By Waylon Joe

Hey, It’s Waylon “Joe” Kite here. I am a West Virginia native and a die-hard pickup truck fan. My story with trucks started with my dad’s 1989 Ford F-150, and it's still going on. I'll share all my trucking experiences (both great and gross ones) with you. I have a garage full of tools to fix and renovate trucks and a freezer full of ales. Do you want to join me?

You’re driving down the highway and see a truck with a tonneau cover. It looks pretty sweet, and you start thinking about how much you’d like one for your own truck.

But then you start thinking, do tonneau covers get stolen?

The tonneau covers may easily get stolen if no attention is paid to security. You can enhance the locking system to stop stealing. There are three different scenarios for the locking system. These are the basic soft cover locking, polycarbonate plastic latches, and hard cover anti-theft design.

Let me help you with some detailed facts for theft prevention without stretching any more.

How The Tonneau Covers May Get Stolen?

Most tonneau covers come with good security features. However, this does not ensure that the covers can’t get stolen. Some thieves have the skills to outsmart clever security solutions. 

Mostly, when it comes to soft covers, they can easily get stolen. In addition to that, the goods stored inside the bed may face real threats.

Thieves are commonly looking for stuff that would benefit them. Selling these stolen items come about with hefty prices.

However, hardcovers are difficult to carry, so the concentration goes more on breaking the locking system. This is to access the stored goods inside.

This is the reason why updating stronger security system are important. This is something the manufacturers have provided in recent years.

Let me help you find out what certain protection scenarios offer.

Do Tonneau Covers Get Stolen

Tonneau Covers And Security Systems

There have been issues regarding the bad guys damaging the tonneau covers. They use sharp knives to cut through the surface, so the lock is compromised.

Tonneau covers may get stolen when the materials are phased out. This is in the form of separating the cover into pieces.

The aluminum slats or fiberglass materials get a good price in the black market.

Soft Cover Locking System

The locking system provided in the tonneau soft covers is very basic. Most of them do not even have a locking system.

Many people install padlocks with the tailgate so the cover can be locked. This is something that is usually done with soft covers.

Remember, budget-friendly approaches are usually equipped with risks of early degradation. The value for money goes in the negative direction in such a context.

Cover covers can get stolen if you depend on the tailgate lock for security.

In addition, many thieves won’t even destroy the tailgate lock. They will cut a hole in the cover. This is so that the hidden goods can be taken out.

The covers may just get left behind when the cargo has disappeared.

Integrated Locking Mechanism

The mechanism involving integrated locking is by far the safest security system. The covers, mostly polycarbonate plastic, usually have integrated locking features.

They are also known as retractable tonneau covers. This is because the product can be folded up into a storage position. The automatic locking features are placed firmly with the retractable tonneau covers.

Such actions guarantee total safety for the cover from getting stolen.

These covers are a little more expensive than the soft cover ones. However, the value for money is more with such products. Especially if the product is a tri-fold cover.

You need to unlock the padlock using a key in the integrated locking mechanism scenario. The stainless steel locking products are designed for a strong installment that is difficult to break.

It secures the cover and all the goods inside, including the accessories.

Also read: How To Open Truck Bed Cover Without Key? Answered!

Anti-Theft Design Locks

Most high-quality hard tonneau covers carry good locking features. They are designed to adhere to the best anti-theft measures. These are usually aluminum products.

Two models are associated with cover security: Single and Dual Latching systems.

The simple single-locking features are designed to lock the stored cargo. This provides tighter locking so that the covers cannot be removed.

In such a scenario, thieves must work hard to break the security. Removing and transporting the hardcover is not going to be easy. 

This is why such high-quality covers do not get stolen more often.

A good quality padlock is going to provide layered security. This means you have to open the tailgate first to remove the cover. Since this is not a hassle-free scenario, no thieves can be successful without a key.

The dual paddles latches are of good quality and extremely secure. The fastened cover security involves locking on two sides.

Both the top and bottom areas are locked in this instance.

Let me go further, as I have indicated three simple locking mechanisms. This is to help you out with how you can implement a stronger locking mechanism.

Read also: How To Patch A Hole In A Tonneau Cover?

How To Install A Safe And Strong Locking System?

Plenty of different variations of latches and supporting accessories are available in the market. They provide extended features for the best security.

You can easily work with the latches to ensure a firm fix. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Remove the installment to clean the item in case of an old lock.
  • Clean all the sides, including the top, bottom, and edges.
  • The alcohol-based cleaning solvents work best for this method.
  • Place back the cleaned lock to adjust the system with the surface.
  • You can add bonding adhesives for a firmer attachment.
  • You can also work with pop rivet tools. This ensures that the locks don’t appear in the future. A strong clipping is needed if the lock has pop rivet features.
  • When installing a new product, read the labels clearly and follow the instructions. 
  • Consult experts for the best advice.

Make sure you apply all the maintenance features regularly. Check how the security system is working from time to time.

Read also: How To Fix Tonneau Cover Latch?

Some Innovative Tonneau Covers Security Ideas

You can imply some innovative ideas as you work with different locking mechanism options. These are usually suggested when you are consulting with the manufacturers.

Here are a few things you can do:

  • The triple seal latches system does not loosen the lock easily. This is if the latch gets contaminated with dirt and moisture over time. You are also equipped with the remote entry system idea with a unique key.
  • A multi-section cover lock is also a very good safety idea. This can help older cover models with extra adjustments being made. This means a simple locking solution involving the tailgate and surrounding frames can be applied.
  • A good durable security installment involves placing the locks under the cover. This should be attached to the tailgate. You have to open the tailgate to open the cover.

These are the innovations you can apply for a durable security scenario. This is the best security option you can have with a little investment.

How To Keep Thieves Away From Your Vehicle?

You can always work with some detailed security ideas. This will easily keep the bad guys from touching your vehicle.

Here are the actions that are required:

  • Keep the truck inside the garage locked with high-security standards.
  • Do not keep any spare keys near the vehicle.
  • When there is no garage or basement option, park the car in a well-lighted area. See if the place has security cameras installed around.
  • Install a good quality alarm system. Make sure the noise is loud when intruders get into the storage space.

Following these indications will benefit you a lot. You can be worry-free with your stuff any time of the day.


What to do if the tonneau cover gets stolen?

If the thief does not take your vehicle, it is difficult to detect with a tracking system. You can inform the authorities about what has been stolen. See where the investigation goes.

Can an old tonneau lock be easily broken?

Yes, an old tonneau lock may lose its strong security features over time. This is especially the case when you have not done anything regarding maintenance. You must do regular servicing to ensure ultimate safety.

Is investing in security features worth the effort?

Living in an area where theft happens more regularly is worth the effort. Do check around regarding the crime-related history in the neighborhood. You should still apply some sort of protection for various reasons. 


It is important to note that the tonneau cover may get stolen if not properly secured. Thieves are usually targeting the goods that are stored inside. As carrying the cover is much of a fuss, small items are mostly stolen. 

As indicated throughout the article, you must apply the same security measures. Hopefully, you will be in fine tune with the areas highlighted.

By wishing you all the best; it is time for me to go.

Bye for now!

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