New technology is allowing tire thieves to act like racing pit crews to quickly remove wheels from vehicles. Crooks are using cordless, high-impact guns to remove lug nuts, even locked wheels, more efficiently.
And it's happening all across Texas, including the Houston region.
“We've got cases in Katy, Deer Park, Friendswood, the sheriff's office, Houston Police Department, and we're at the point now where we're trying to get all of these cases together,” says Dwayne Pacifico, deputy investigator with the Harris County Constable's Office Precinct 2.
It's not even custom rims thieves are after.
“We haven't had a case yet of after market wheels come up missing, they're all factory 20-inch chrome rims,” says Pacifico. “The price is about $3,500 for a brand new set. We're really not sure if they're separating the rubber from the metal and having them go two different directions, or if they're keeping it together and selling them.”
If you can't park inside a garage, police suggest a well-lit area with working surveillance cameras that record. A good car alarm also helps.