It’s a crime that’s increasingly becoming harder to prevent.
Wheel thefts are on the rise in one Connecticut town and while this isn’t the first time it’s happened, some are shocked to learn the locks that have traditionally thwarted thieves aren’t working.
“I was on my phone drinking a cup of coffee and I actually kicked the lug nuts,” said Kyle Skiba, a victim.
That’s when Skiba realized the wheels were stolen off his Jaguar.
It was parked in the lot of his condo complex on King Philip Drive in West Hartford.
“The car is just sitting there, all four wheels, tires gone, propped up on milk crates,” Skiba said.
The Jaguar was sporting 22-inch rims and valued at $10,000.
Skiba knew that’s why his car was selected, and that’s why the two thieves worked extra-long to maneuver their way around the wheel locks that are meant to deter.
“Looking at the security camera, it was about 20 minutes, two people, it took about 10 minutes for each side of the car,” Skiba said.
Skiba posted the pictures on Facebook and other neighbors chimed in, reporting they too fell victim to wheel thefts.
“You hear about it here and there, but not really West Hartford,” Skiba said.
West Hartford already had four thefts in April. Police are investigating cases on Kane Street, Park Road, King Philip Drive and Crestview Circle.
“See it has the regular lug nuts, it’s easy to take off. You have something like this, it’s harder to take off without the tool,” said William Arena from Monroe Muffler.
Arena explained how the wheel locks work, but admits, they aren’t as foolproof as they once were.
“Can’t do much more. When they want to take it off,” said Arena.
Skiba knows that first hand now.
“I don’t think there’s anything else I could have done differently. It wasn’t unlocked, it was just parked where it normally would be parked in an otherwise safe location,” said Skiba.
Experts said even though locks may not prevent your wheels from getting stolen by a determined thief, they are still a good deterrent and may make a potential thief look elsewhere.
Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.