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Tire, rim thefts on the rise in the Brazos Valley, community searches for answers

Posted at 9:38 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 22:38:29-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Stolen tires and rims have been a hot commodity here in the Brazos Valley and people want answers as to what is being done to hold the thieves accountable.

The Bryan Police Department and College Station Police Department both have tips on how we can prevent tire thieves in our area.

“We know right now the increases are in apartment complexes,” said Lieutenant Jason James, Bryan Police Department. “Previously it’s been in the streets. They take your tires and rims out of your driveway and get landscaping bricks. Now it’s kind of moved into apartment complexes.”

While the tire thieves may not have a specific car they're targeting, Lt. James says to consider locking your tires.

“We’re telling people to get the locks for the lug nuts,” said Lt. James. “Those may work, and they may not work. A unique one would. If it’s just a generic key, the thieves already probably have that key.”

If you live in an apartment complex, look out for your neighbors.

“You have to look out for each other,” said Lt. James. “There’s a lot of come-and-go traffic all hours of the night. Being such a large residential area, it’s important that everybody look out for each other. If you see something, you got to say something.”

With tires and rims being stolen left and right and leaving cars on bricks, it’s leaving people without a vehicle and a hefty bill to replace them.

The College Station Police Department also has some tips on how we can combat this issue.

“We had an uptick in thefts in April,” said Officer William Snell, College Station Police Department. “We had I believe 18, where most months it’s somewhere between eight and 10. It’s since then gone back down. We had 11 in May, and so far this month, we’ve had four.”

The number of tire thefts continues to climb.

Two residents in the College Station said it was this past weekend they discovered they had been hit by thieves on their way to work.

“I had just bought brand new tires,” said local residents of College Station. “My other tires were giving out a little bit. So I had just got my tires about three weeks ago. It sucks because they’re brand new tires, and they’re already gone.”

The residents immediately called the police and were told to fill out an online report.

While they haven’t heard back yet, Officer Snell said there are some ways we can prevent another tire theft.

“Turning your wheels all the way to the right or left, parking very close to a curb so they can’t get the lug nuts off or the tire off, video cameras, the inside kind that activate off of motion are good because even if they don’t see them in the crime, they may catch a license plate that we can actually catch on,” said Officer Snell.

Getting to know your neighbors is what helped the two local residents in piecing together the timeline of when their property was stolen.

They believe the theft happened between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. on Sunday morning.

“One girl said she got back home at five in the morning and my car was still perfectly fine,” said the local residents. “There was another worker here, but he wasn’t part of the apartment complex. He was just working inside the rooms and he said that he got here at 7 and my car was already like that.”

He said his parents came from over six hours away to help as he was filled with frustration and facing a 600-dollar deductible, but even with the comfort of his parents, they were nervous thieves might strike again.

“While they were staying here, I would always look out the window,” said the local residents. “I would set alarms at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. to see if the car tires were still there.”

Along with tips such as parking in a well-lit area, getting lug nut locks, or getting a dash cam, the Bryan Police Department and College Station Police Department both say if you suspect any suspicious activity to call the police.