Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Penny for Your...Tires?

by Joyce Tremel

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, some criminal comes up with a new way to rip people off.

Right now in Shaler, it seems the thieves are taking a break from the copper pipe and have moved on to auto parts theft. By auto parts, I don’t mean someone stealing hubcaps or taking the battery out of someone’s car. The thieves are taking bigger things, like tailgates off trucks. Or even better, tires and rims from cars.

This might not seem too odd except for the fact that the thieves are doing it in broad daylight from shopping center parking lots. Yes, it’s not even safe to go shopping. Last week we had a call from an elderly woman who went shopping in K-Mart. She was only in the store for fifteen minutes and when she went back to her car, the tires and rims were missing from one side of the car. The thief used a standard car jack and just left it in place. We had a similar call on Monday from the Eat ‘n Park across the street from K-Mart. No jack left in place this time—the frame was left sitting on an old tire.

Wouldn’t you think someone in the parking lot would have noticed the actor pulling up beside a car, removing the tires and rims, then taking off?

Wondering if this might be some kind of trend, I did a Google search. While these thefts do occur other places, Shaler seems to be unique. In other cities, stealing tires and rims is common, but the thieves target custom rims and expensive tires. The two cars here were a Ford Escort and a Pontiac Grand Prix with factory rims and cheap tires. And our thefts occurred mid-day, not overnight.

All this leaves me wondering why. Why would someone steal tires and rims? Is it money? Or something more sinister?

12 comments:

Nancy said...

Some day this guy is going to slip and jack up a car in full view of a parking lot camera. In fact, doesn't K-Mart have those already? I think we're fast approaching the era when we're always on camera.

Joyce said...

You haven't seen the Shaler K-Mart. It's in "Lower Shaler" if you know what I mean. It's one of the junkies' favorite places for retail theft.

mike said...

Tsk, tsk...what's this world coming to? Soon I'll have to add Shaler to the list of communities I enter at my own risk, driving through at high speed with windows rolled up and doors locked, like certain stretches of Homewood, Lincoln-Larimer and Sewickley! (Just kidding, Judith)

Tory said...

How odd! You'll have to let us know, Joyce, if you get info. on who did it and why.

Kristine said...

Unbelievable! The thieves of the world (especially in Shaler) never cease to provide endless material for our crime novels, huh?

Joyce said...

I can imagine a funny scene with two completely inept criminals trying to steal tires. First, they argue over what car to target, then they fumble with jacking the car up. They're arguing so much they don't hear the car owner approaching. The owner just happens to be an off-duty cop. Game over.

brenda said...

That't terrible. Tires are so expensive. I just did a project with the kids at the Frick using pieces of tire tread as a printing block, but I swear, I've never been in Shaler!

kathie said...

Oh, my, this is interesting. You know when they catch the guy and he confesses what he's using the stuff for, we'll say, "Oh, of course, that makes perfect sense." Good book material, I'm sure.

thomas said...

That's a wake up call for car owners...
If there could be a safety device against rims and tire theft, i'll have it in no time. For now the better precaution is to park in he safest place where they're guards on duty. Later, i'll be working on my door handle just to be safe.

Anonymous said...

yeah my friends steal rims n tires all the time. most of there reasons are for respect and money. if you come around here and mugg someone you dont know. your tires r gone homie. or even worse your catty converter gets snatched n those sell for alot. a couple thousand sometimes. i do not personaly do ne of these things i just hear about them. but if i realy needed to there is ALOT of money in for it. not to mention jail time. haha

aline said...

congrats! keep up the good work/this is a great presentation.
Wheels And Tires

Sonia said...

What an exciting experience!/Hilarious! Delightful! True!/wonderful stuff! thank you!

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