SAN ANTONIO - Thieves are targeting northeast-side neighborhoods to steal tires and wheels.
Bexar County Precinct 3 Constable Mark Vojvodich said that he's seen a crime increase in residential areas.
"They work in a team. Sometimes they go out and have people scouting for cars during the daytime and also, at night, we've had reports of people having flashlights and checking out cars," Constable Vojvodich noted.
Belden's Automotive and Tires did a demonstration with an experienced mechanic showing how easy it is to take off a tire, especially if you have the right equipment.
It took mechanic Len McDonald just eight seconds to remove one tire.
"Something people can relate to is the NASCAR pit crew. So the NASCAR pit crew, they pull into a pit, they've got to change the wheels, the tires, all that stuff in a matter of seconds," said Jason Thomas, a general manager at Belden's Automotive and Tires. "Now [criminals] are harnessing that technology."
Thomas said that the improved technology includes cordless, high-impact guns to take off lug nuts and high jack lifts.
Constable Vojvodich has issued a warning on NextDoor to alert residents. He recommended these tips:
1. Park inside a garage or lit area
2. You can use motion-activated lights at your home
3. Use locking wheel lugs, which can slow thieves down but does not prevent theft
4. Use a camera or vehicle alarm
Thomas added that upgrading your car alarm system is also a good idea.
"A lot of people have the factory alarm systems that come on the vehicle, which is an ant-theft to keep the vehicle from being stolen," Thomas said. “So something as simple as an after-market alarm that has some type of shock or impact sensor that can detect when that car's being lifted off the ground."
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