Tire & Rim Theft: Easy to Resell Without a Trace

Tire shops, car dealerships, and rental car lots are common targets for tire thieves because they have exactly what they need: an abundance of vehicles each equipped with valuable tires and rims.

You used to be able to go to your local dealership or tire store and buy whatever tires and rims you wanted. Not anymore. Inventory is running low due to lingering supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, thieves see these in-demand parts as the desired target. Texas tire shop employee Leonel Rangel told local news station KBTX, “we’re missing so many wheels and tires across the board.” He also contributed the rise in crime to inflation, which has catapulted this type of component theft into a more valuable bracket. 

Who Is Being Hit?  

Here are a few examples of recent incidents: 

  • Kearney, NE – Police say more than $100,000 in tires were stolen from a tire shop in a single night. 
  • Mishawaka, IN – At least 20 sets of wheels totaling $80,000 were reportedly stolen from several car lots. 
  • Asheville, NC – According to local reports, a Discount Tire store manager was run over when they confronted a man and woman attempting to steal tires from their location. 

Why Steal Tires and Rims? 

The quick answer is that they are easy to take and hard to trace. While some tires and rims are marked with serial numbers, they are extremely difficult to trace back to the rightful owner.

Let’s face it, who keeps track of their tire identification numbers? Unless a thief is caught in the act, it’s near impossible to prove. Because it’s harder to steal an entire vehicle, bad actors are choosing to steal valuable parts that they can get away with quickly and can’t be tracked.

Not getting caught is a critical part of the risk assessment for crooks. How much money can be made and what’s the chance of getting caught? That’s front and center in the minds of many who carry out these crimes. 

There’s somewhat of a structured system in the tire and rim crime ring – with various parties profiting from these crimes. The person taking part in the initial theft of the tires can earn $150 to $400, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB). The stolen goods then make their way to the person who sells to small tire dealers or collision repair shops.

They can bring in $700 to $900. Lastly, the tire dealers and repair shops resell to consumers and can bill an insurance company $1,300. Outside of organized tire theft rings, freelance thieves exist who steal tires and rims with the hope of selling them on places like Facebook Marketplace or online yard sale sites to flip a quick profit. 

Enhance Property Protection 

Don’t get left with undrivable vehicles and a growing cinderblock collection. Partner with Pro-Vigil to make sure your valuable tires and rims are always under our digital guards’ watchful eyes.

With our remote video monitoring (RVM) solutions, surveillance cameras keep watch over your business around the clock, detecting and deterring crime as it happens – and in many cases – before thieves have a chance to strike. 

Pro-Vigil’s cameras are backed by the power of artificial intelligence (AI) which can determine when suspicious activity may be taking place on your property. Once this behavior is flagged as a potential security threat, our team takes over to take a closer look in real-time to deploy the appropriate crime deterrence measures. 

If you’d like to learn more about how intelligent video surveillance can deter tire and rim theft at your business, contact Pro-Vigil today. 

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