The 49th Precinct is warning those who have expensive tires and rims on their cars: theft of these, and of some vans, is on the rise.
Captain Kevin Nicholson noticed an uptick in the number of petty crimes and Grand Larceny Auto thefts of expensive rims and tires often installedon cars by owners after purchase, sometimes worth over a thousand dollars.
Fancy rims are often the pride of owners, but can make easy prey for car thieves that jack up the cars when parked on the street. He has asked 49th Precinct crime prevention officer Troy Doiley to warn the public about the thefts.
Doiley said that many of the thefts seem to be occurring in the southern half of the precinct, in Morris Park and Van Nest. He pointed to steps car owners can take to help combat this type of auto theft.
“What happens,” Doiley explained, “is a person will park the car on the street, and come back to find all four tires and rims gone. We recommend that people with expensive tires and rims have not just an alarm but a tilt sensor so that if an auto thief tries to jack up the car, it will sound the alarm.”
Doiley said that the tires and rims are not necessarily always stolen off of expensive cars, but are often put on by owners of less extravagant cars to sup up the vehicle.
“These can sometimes cost thousands of dollars,” Doiley said. “For the year, we have seen a decrease in thefts of the cars themselves, but there is more grand larceny and the tire and rim thefts are a part of that.”
Even though overall thefts of autos is down, Doiley said that thefts of one particular line of vans — Ford Econoline vans made from the years 1997 to 2009 — is seeing a lot of popularity among car thieves all over the city.
Doiley said that parts for the Econoline are particularly valuable because they are interchangeable for a long period of model years. Sometimes the vans themselves are stolen, but often just the parts are ripped off by thieves while a van is parked on the street.
“They are doing everything from taking the Ford logo off of the grill to removing seats, front driver’s side and passenger-side air bags and glove boxes,” Doiley said. “On newer models, they are taking the dashboard navigation systems and a back-up camera that allows the driver to see behind the van when it operates in reverse.”
He said most recently in the precinct, a 2000 Ford Econoline van was stolen on Mace Avenue on Friday, September 3. As far as special tires and rims go, Doiley urged the public to take extra measures of protection.
“We just want to advise people that if they are going to have expensive rims and tires on their cars and trucks, to at least take additional security measures as well,” Doiley said.