Many residents of south central Texas are waking up to find their vehicles blocked up with no tires or rims, and occurrences are increasing.
During the early morning hours of Tuesday, February 7, 2012 police and sheriff offices southeast of San Antonio fielded almost 20 calls reporting theft of expensive wheels.
“I talked with the police and a game warden,” said one of the victims, a young business owner who lives in Wilson County, outside of La Vernia. “Whoever is doing this probably has been scouting all the Texas Editions, high dollar rims and tires off of Tahoes and suburbans in the area so they could come back with their GPS and make their move in the middle of the night.”
San Antonio and Bexar county auto crime unit investigators have been tackling case surges with chop shops, vehicle thefts, and missing wheels.
The Houston Police Department says complaints about stolen rims and tires are widespread throughout Harris County and typically get about 1,700-2000 reports a year.
“I was at Snow’s (Vehicle Center and Tire Dealership) shop here in La Vernia and that was the talk of the place,” said another victim, who asked not be identified by name. “One lady said they stole her wheels off and she had her truck parked in the garage.”
Experts say certain kinds of wheels and rims are more likely to be stolen than others.
Chevy Tahoes and Escalades, Chevy pickups, Dodge trucks with semi-custom wheels seem to be the most targeted rims to steal.
The 20-inch and 22-inch Chevy Texas Edition are very popular according to one tire dealer on S.W. Military Drive. “It sure seems like more of these are getting stolen all the time.”
“They took some concrete blocks right out of my yard and used them to block my truck up,” said the first victim. “Some trucks were hit in the Legacy Ranch subdivision, at least one in Stockdale, one right near the police station in La Vernia, and of course, that lady who found her truck jacked up and blocked in her garage.”
“It’s going to cost me about $3600 to replace mine,” he said. “Some of the 2011 and 2012 editions can go up to $5000.”
“After I pay for these replacements I am going to go down and by some wheel locks and keep mine in the garage,” the second victim commented.
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