Thieves targeting tires, rims in Pelham Bay

Police are urging caution after a string of thefts in the Pelham Bay area left a few locals with their vehicle tire and rims missing.

Four grand larceny thefts were reported to the NYPD between Wednesday, December 21 and Sunday, December 25 in the area.

The thefts occurred at 841 Hollywood Avenue, 2910 LaSalle Avenue, 1621 Crosby Avenue and 3047 Zulette Avenue.

For Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association president Michelle Torrioni, the situation is déjà vu.

The neighborhood went through a similar wave of tire thefts several years ago, she said, until police set up a sting operation to nab the thief.

The culprits like to target factory manufactured alloy wheels on Hondas because they fit other Honda models.

Wheels and rims of a Honda Fit can be used on other Honda models such as an Accord or Civic.

Hondas are also popular with the custom car culture seen in the Fast and Furious movies.

“They know the Honda tires are interchangeable, so if you have an old model car you can put new model wheels on it,” Torrioni said.

Torrioni said the ripoffs would likely be discussed at the 45th Precinct Community Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, January 5.

Aside from the more obvious precautions of installing a sensitive vehicle alarm or parking in a well-lit, highly trafficked area, motorists can purchase wheel locks at auto part stores for under $50.

Turning wheels on an angle when parked can also deter thieves, since it causes the steering column to lock.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.

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