HOUSTON - No matter where William Thomas shows off his invention, people stop and ask questions.
"I think it's a great idea," said driver named Manolo Elias. "I just haven't seen anything like this in the market."
Thomas came up with the idea after getting tired of seeing tires and rims stolen from hard working Houstonians.
"This is the Combination Wheels locking system," Thomas explained.
Still just a prototype, the battery-operated digital system prevents thieves from getting to the lug nuts.
"As I remove the center cap, the digital locking system activates," he said.
The system even has a specially designed mobile app that will let you lock and unlock the system. We shared video of the invention with a few law enforcement officers. They can't officially comment but told us they believe this might work.
We also showed Combo Wheels to Greg Zimmerman, owner of AA Auto Care and Tire on S. Shepherd Drive.
"I love entrepreneurs," said Zimmerman. "I think it's awesome if anyone can make your life a little bit better, why not."
Zimmerman questioned why the device uses an uncommon BB battery. Thomas said the reason is the battery can last up to three months without being changed.
Zimmerman also wondered how you could remove the system if the batteries die. Thomas showed us a backup cable that you plug into the cigarette lighter to remove the system.
The product hasn't gone through any testing so we don't know how it would hold up in bad weather and flooding. Thomas hopes his invention will appeal to security manufacturers and eventually automakers.
He even quit his day job as a mailman in hopes of getting Combo Wheels rolling. The entire system could cost $1,000.