Police: Certain rims, tires popular with thieves


by Leigh Frillici / 11 News


Posted on February 10, 2011 at 10:47 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 11 at 11:00 AM

HOUSTON -- Police say complaints about stolen rims and tires are widespread throughout Harris County and the city of Houston, but there are some things you can do to deter thieves. 

In Houston last year, nearly 1,700 people reported having their rims and tires stolen, according to police.  The Houston Police Department has put time into theft enforcement, and that number reflects a 10-percent drop from the year before. 

Last week, Friendswood resident Amy Mills said she walked outside her home and saw her Chevy Tahoe on blocks after thieves stole the wheels and rims. 

“They're alloy rims, nothing custom about them,” said Mills. 

She figures it happened when she and her family were asleep. 

“To see your car sitting on blocks in your own driveway, it's something you can't describe,” she said.

That being said, authorities say certain kinds of wheels and rims are more likely to be stolen than others.

Chevy pickups, the semi-custom rims on Dodge trucks, Chevy Tahoes and Escalades are some of the most popular rims to steal.

“Chevy also offers their Texas edition in 20-inch, 22-inch -- that's the most commonly stolen wheels,” said Oscar Davila, the owner of Montrose Tire and Wheel.  Davila said customers call a couple of times a week looking for tires because they’ve had theirs stolen.

"We get a lot of calls customers saying that they have their cars on blocks, no wheels no tires,” said Davila.

Experts say there are some things you can do to prevent your wheels and rims from getting swiped. You can put your car in the garage or put wheel locks on your wheels.  The price for wheel locks can range from $25 to $50.

Mills said she found out her Chevy Tahoe wheels were tempting to thieves the hard way. She had to pay a $1,000 deductible to have them replaced. 

She said even her little girl could tell she was mad.

“She was very upset and said she was sorry that the bad men took my wheels,” said Mills.

Mills said now she's parking in her garage.