CYPRESS -- Thieves operating quietly and quickly in a Cypress neighborhood early Monday morning raced away with five sets of tires and chrome wheels after leaving five trucks and SUVs balanced on stolen landscape bricks.
Bryan Schild’s young son texted his dad Monday morning as the school bus pulled away from their home in the Cypress Creek Ranch subdivision.
“Dad,” he texted him, “somebody took your wheels.”
"I came outside and this is what I came to. Looked like a Cadillac boat,” said Schild.
Thieves left his Escalade balanced on just two bricks. They discarded the lug nuts in his yard and took the chrome decorative vent covers from the front fenders too.
“This just proves crime can happen anywhere. I mean you're not safe anywhere. No matter where you live,” said Schild.
Two doors down, the thieves took off the four wheels from Steve Meza’s pickup too. His truck was even parked next to his garage behind a security gate. But the gate wasn’t locked, so the thieves walked in, unscrewed the security lights on the garage side of the house, propped up the truck with the same type of cinder blocks and made off with the four stock chrome wheels.
"It kind of gets under your skin thinking you go out and you work for all these things that you have and you try to protect them with gates, security gates an all, and it still happens to you,” said Meza. “It just goes to show you if they really want something bad enough they're gonna get it."
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office confirms that a total of five SUVs and trucks were hit overnight in this one neighborhood.
One of the trucks hit was a Ford F-350 with eight lug nuts per wheel. But even that did not slow down the thieves. None of the victims KHOU 11 News spoke with heard any noises during the night that would have alerted them to the thefts.
"So they randomly found the cars with the wheels that they wanted and just took them,” said Schild. “You're talking $1,500 of street value and the risk of your life being taken,” he said of the thieves. “The guys in this neighborhood, they'll shoot first and ask questions later.”
But one homeowner may have better ammunition. One of the victims does have security cameras and his security company is working to download the video to see if they caught the thieves in the act.
As of Monday afternoon, four of the five vehicles were still in their respective driveways and on the blocks where the thieves left them. The owners were waiting for insurance company representatives and tire shop employees to arrive to put new sets of wheels on their vehicles.
Schild estimates that his loss alone will cost him and his insurance company $3,500.