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Thieves target chrome wheels

November 29, 2012
By Kathy Ryan

Staff Writer

Thanksgiving night was not a good night to own a car with chrome wheels in Grosse Pointe Woods. A rash of wheel thefts left public safety officers busy and car owners angry.

At least five cars were hit, including two belonging to a homeowner on Roslyn. And if it wasn’t bad enough that thieves were targeting wheels, they didn’t even bother to bring their own blocks to prop up the cars after the tires were removed.

According to police, homeowners on Blairmoor Court reported while their cars were intact, landscaping blocks had been taken from their property, which police discovered in place of tires a few blocks away.

Thieves struck overnight, hitting two Cadillac Escalades parked in a driveway on Roslyn. Apparently before taking the wheels, the thieves damaged a neighbor’s decorative light shining onto the driveway where the Cadillacs were parked.

Two more cars were hit, both parked on Woods Lane. In one case, the wheels on a 2013 GMC Yukon were taken apparently after thieves damaged a flood light. In another theft on Woods Lane, the thieves rummaged through the glove compartment to locate the keys enabling them to unlock the wheel locks. The thieves gained entry by breaking out a car window, and while they were in the car, removed an iPod. Another theft involved a 2013 Dodge Journey parked on Brys.

Grosse Pointe Woods public safety director Andrew Pazuchowski said wheel thefts are a problem throughout the Grosse Pointes.

“We need the help of residents on this,” he said. “Our best offense is to have residents call us whenever they see a suspicious car in the area. If the thieves know they are being watched, they will go elsewhere.”

Pazuchowski said the Woods has increased patrols and is working with the ACTION team, a cooperative effort between police agencies, to combat auto thefts. In addition to increased patrols, Woods public safety officers are working with the ACTION team to determine where the stolen wheels are being sold.

“Thieves are targeting cars with the large chrome wheels, so we urge residents who own those cars to park them in a garage if possible,” he said. “And we can’t stress it enough, if you see a suspicious car in your area, call us. Or if you hear something, even if you can’t see anything, call us. Don’t assume it’s nothing. Let us determine that.”

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