Stealers Wheel: Thieves Steal More than $200,000 in Wheels and Tires from Texas Dealership

Chevrolet-Camaros-theft-no-wheelsLast weekend was a bad time to be Chevy dealer in Tyler, Texas. That’s when thieves broke into Peltier Chevrolet and removed more than $200,000 in rolling stock right from the axles of vehicles on the lot. According to a report in Automotive News, the staff arrived in the morning to find 48 vehicles, including Chevrolet Camaros, Traverse crossovers, and Silverado pickups, missing their wheels and tires. Initial police reports indicate the theft began around 1:00 a.m. in the early morning of Sunday, August 21.

Although the lot was secured, the police say the thieves cut the locks on the gates at the rear of the dealership where much of the inventory was kept, and “knocked out” the bright security lights that are generally on at night. Although security footage shows a large box truck arriving at 1:22 a.m., the lack of lighting prevents the video from revealing the number or identities of the alleged thieves.Chevy-Silverado-No-Wheels-Theft-Texas

The manager of the dealership currently pegs the loss at between $200,000 and $250,000, and notes that most of the wheels were of the 20- to 22-inch variety, while others were “nothing out of the ordinary.” While the estimated monetary loss sounds unbelievable for wheels and tires for 48 cars, consider that original-equipment tires—without wheels and tire-pressure monitoring sensors—for the Camaro SS run approximately $1100 for a set of four. Adding to the loss is the fact that many of the vehicles were damaged by being dropped directly to the ground or placed improperly on blocks.


Doing do the arithmetic reveals that the perps were no strangers to the business end of an impact wrench. Barring the presence of a few formula-skewing, three-wheeled Morgans or Robin Reliants among the 48 burgled cars, the theft amounts to a total of 192 wheels. Considering the approximately four-hour window that the police figure it took to perpetrate the crime, that’s a theft rate of one wheel every 1.25 minutes. And the thieves removed nearly 1000 lug nuts in the dark. Whoever the perps are, clearly Rowdy Burns needs to hire these guys. They also must have been packing plenty of spare battery packs for the cordless impact guns that we assume they used in the heist.

Now, of course, comes the hard part: Turning all that rolling stock into cash without attracting too much attention. Good luck with that.

from Car and Driver BlogCar and Driver Blog

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