HOUSTON — It's a scheme that's neither new nor unfamiliar to Houstonians, but the "wobbly wheel" scam continues to plague the city -- and Houston police say it's happened again.
Speed Lorenzo Thompson, 24, is the latest suspect to be arrested in connection with the scam, Houston police say. Another man -- Guliano Christopher Thomson, 31 -- is wanted in the same case. And though their last names are spelled differently, Houston police say they are brothers.
They have both been charged with arson and endangering a child in connection with this latest iteration of the scam.
What is the 'wobbly wheel' scam?
Police say "wobbly wheel" scam suspects wave drivers off the road indicating that something is wrong with their vehicle -- like one of their wheels is loose or damaged. They may also state the wheel is on fire or is smoking to get the driver's attention. It also may occur in a parking lot or driveway.
However, it’s really a scheme to pressure the victim into paying for repairs -- or even robbing the driver once they are pulled over.
Houston police say in most cases, the suspects represent themselves as mechanics and offer to address the issue for the victim. One suspect then pretends to fix the victim's tire while other suspects serve as a distraction.
Houston police say recently, a suspect has been known to set the tire's wheel well on fire with a lighter to show the car owner the tire is smoking and there is melted plastic.
Houston police say there may be more victims of this "wobbly wheel" scam.
Anyone who may have had contact with Speed Thompson or Guliano Thomson is asked to contact the HPD Major Offenders Division at 713-308-3100 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
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