ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - A tale out of St. Paul reveals a unique method to meet a neighbor, and to discover a problem: thieves stealing wheels from cars parked in metro driveways.
A St. Paul couple posted to social media that thieves had stolen the wheels from their GMC Denali. Another neighbor saw the post and checked his security video, and “low and behold there’s somebody who had stolen four of our landscape blocks,” Matthew Williams said. “They were the same blocks underneath his car.”
The theft victim took his own video when he discovered the missing tires, narrating aloud, “somebody came by in the middle of the night and decided they needed my tires and wheels more than I did.”
The thefts occurred in St. Paul’s Como neighborhood in the early hours of May 1, and thieves may have been targeting GMC Denalis. In St. Louis Park, police are warning residents and visitors to take caution after rims, wheels and tires have been stolen off six cars in the Birchwood neighborhood since mid-March.
Wheel locks can make it much more difficult for thieves to steal wheels, and they stopped thefts at Walser Buick GMC in Roseville.
“We, like many of the dealers in town, have had a problem with wheel thefts. So we sought out a solution. We ended up putting a Gorilla wheel lock on all of our wheels,” said Nick Hermann, a Walser employee.
Residents are encouraged park in a closed garage whenever possible, and if parking outside, turn your wheels when parking. This makes the wheels harder to remove, because they get stuck in the wheel well. The car's steering column lock makes it difficult to turn the wheels forward again without the key for the ignition.
Officials also say to park in an area with lots of traffic and in view of surveillance cameras or a motion-triggered security light. People can also install a car alarm that includes sensors attached to the wheels or use wheel locks on each wheel, including your spare.