Police: Tire theft a growing problem across state - WNEM TV 5

Police: Tire theft a growing problem across state

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Vehicles across the state have become targets for brazen thieves after tires and rims.

Dealerships statewide have seen vehicles left on cinder blocks this year. Many homeowners have fallen victim as well.

"It was quite an event that evening, but we were able to catch them and they're being prosecuted," said Ken Jezowski, service manager for Garber Chevrolet in Linwood.

It was after midnight on May 3 when a Michigan State Police trooper happened to be checking the area as thieves tried to get away with tires and rims off of new trucks at the dealership.

"Anytime you look at something like this, it's concerning that you know somebody's trying to take advantage of others," Jezowski said.

The trooper just happened to be driving by when one of the alleged thieves popped their head up from of the trucks.

"I think they had 12 sets of tires off, but they were still on the premise so we didn't lose them," Jezowski said.

Other dealerships haven't been as lucky. Tire and rim sets, which can cost $4,000 per truck, are targets at dealerships across Michigan.

MSP Sgt. Jim Lang said thieves used to steal whole cars and remove the parts they wanted, but that activity has changed with the times.

"Nowadays with technology the way it is and vehicle tracking that's built right into the vehicles, it can be a little more difficult or a little more risky to steal the entire vehicles than it is just to jack it up to a few lug nuts and off you go," Lang said.

In the past year police have seen increased numbers of dealer thefts. In some areas residential cars are targets.

Police have encouraged dealers to be vigilant and install more security cameras if possible.

Lang said residents can help as well.

"If you see something, say something. If you're driving by a dealer and you see a box van or something that doesn't quite look right, call," Lang said.

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