AP NEWS

Tire thieves target neighborhoods in west Harris County

February 25, 2019

Thieves are on the prowl, stealing wheels off vehicles parked in front of homes, and investigators with Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap’s Office are asking residents in west Harris County to remain vigilant.

The Constable’s Office released a video of suspects in hopes someone may recognize thieves or their vehicle. In the video, the suspects walk around a full-size truck before getting on the ground and beginning to remove the wheels.

According to Ted Heap’s office, “At least 14 vehicles have had their tires stolen in the predawn hours, usually between 2 and 6 a.m.”

The majority of the thefts involve GMC and Chevy trucks and SUVs.

“In each case, the tires and rims are stolen with the vehicle left on concrete blocks,” Heap’s office reported.

Tire thefts have been reported in neighborhoods including Hearthstone, Copperfield, Aberdeen Green, Lancaster, Remington Grove, Nottingham Country, Memorial Parkway and Meyerland.

In some cases, the suspects were caught on home security videos.

“They operate in groups of two to four, and are frequently using a black four-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry, which approaches its target with its headlights turned off,” investigators report. “In one case, the sedan is following a larger dark SUV, possibly a Dodge Nitro.”

Investigators believe the same group may be responsible for numerous other tire thefts recently in other jurisdictions across the greater Houston area.

Anyone who recognizes these suspects or has information that might help with the investigation is asked to call Investigator K. Fesperman at 281-463-6666 or submit tips online at https://constablepct5.com/index.php/online-crime-tips.

Constable Heap also presented steps which could help protect vehicles from thieves, including:

• Parking your car or truck in your garage.

• Installing a car alarm that includes wheel sensors.

• When parking on the street, parking as close as possible to the curb.

• When parking in a driveway, turning your steering wheel and tires fully to one side.

• Using wheel locks on each wheel, including your spare tire, as an additional deterrent.

• Adding motion lights and/or security cameras around your parking area.

• Watching out for your neighbors and ask your neighbors to watch out for you and your property too.

rkent@hcnonline.com