Anybody else getting nailed by these guys? Most of our problems have been with the dealerships in the area getting hit. 28 tires one night from one dealer. Probably the same chit birds taking a break from the standard equipments and going for the bling bling.
PAWTUCKET -- When there is money for the taking, someone will find a way to take it.
Even when it requires planning and hard work.
Those are some of the lessons city residents and police are learning the hard way, as a crew of thieves have continued their campaign of stripping expensive wheels and rims from upscale cars in the middle of the night.
Two people reported on Monday that they woke to find their Nissan Maxima up on blocks, minus the wheels and rims that cost $4,000 to replace.
That is continuing a trend. On Friday an Attleboro man discovered his Nissan Maxima lost its wheels and rims while it was parked on Grand Avenue.
"Right now, we are pulling the files on all of our back cases, revisiting each one to see if there is something there we missed the first time," said Detective Major John Whiting. "We are looking for trends or habits, anything that would help us make an arrest."
High value wheels and rims became a target this fall, when several Oak Hill residents found two or four wheels missing from their cars.
Since then, the geographic reach of the crime has spread and the thieves are getting better at their work.
"We’ve been speaking with detectives in Rehoboth and Seekonk," Whiting said. "They have been getting hit by the crime, too.
"We are also looking at cases in Cumberland and Lincoln."
Cars targeted are parked in driveways, generally fairly hidden between the houses on either side. The crimes have taken place between 1 a.m. and dawn.
All the indications are that there are several people involved in every theft and at least one car.
"The vehicle of choice seems to be the Nissan Maxima, though other cars have been hit," Whiting said. The connecting link appears to be expensive rims and tires that come standard on the car.
"We are finding the lug nuts on the ground next to the car," Whitng added.
"The thieves are leaving the cars up on cinder blocks everywhere they go, so it stands to reason that they are bringing the cinder blocks with them."
Patrol officers are sharing tips on how the thieves operate and how to spot where they might go next. Detectives are looking for the outlet for all the tires and rims.
"We have some leads we are following now," Whiting said.
In the meantime, anyone with expensive wheels should consider cleaning out the garage so the car will fit inside or, at least, buying some wheel locks - lug nuts that cannot be removed without a key.
"Anyone, especially the owner s of Nissan Maxima's, would be well advised to keep an eye on their cars and to find a way to protect them," Whiting said.