Dozens Of Tire Thefts Leaves Motorists Stranded

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UPDATED: Friday March 28, 2014 1:06 AM

Dozens of tires and rims snatched from cars in two Franklin County cities.

These thefts are happening in Whitehall and the east side of Columbus.

Police say the thieves are working at night when it's dark outside and no one is around. They say thieves are taking people's tires and rims and selling them for quick cash.

Whitehall resident Teri Neal looks longingly on her red Monte Carlo that she treasures.

"With tinted windows, sun roof, and my 'used to be' tires," said Neal. Her car is now on temporary tires because the originals were stolen.

"I mean, it just hurts my heart that, you know, somebody would take something and destroy what was mine," said Neal.

Her car was one of nine in Whitehall that thieves stole the tires and rims. The crimes happened within the past few months.

Another Whitehall resident shares with 10TV images of the moment she discovered two of her tires missing.

"It's a shame that they had to do something like that. My grandson has asthma. Sometimes I have to rush him to the hospital and I thank god I didn't have to do that that morning. You know, who knows what would have happened," said that resident.

Whitehall police are investigating, but say it's tough to track.

"They just grab the tires and go. Often leave the lug nuts behind. They put them up on blocks," said Whitehall Police Sergeant Dan Kelso.

Columbus police say they're seeing the same thing on their east side. They have 23 cases of stolen tires and rims over the past month.

Professional auto shops, like Don's Car Care, can remove tires in a matter of seconds. These latest victims worry that's how quickly thieves stole their sense of security.

"You know, that's my baby. So, it just hurts my heart to now have to rebuild have to rebuild," said Neal.

Aside from having to pay to have your wheels put back on your car, mechanics recommend wheel locks to secure your tire to your car and prevent thieves from striking again.

Whitehall Police say they're tracking a possible suspect, but they say they need more evidence to make an arrest.

Investigators encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious lurking around their neighborhood to immediately call police.

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