Dealership Wheel Thefts Spotlight Security Risks
In an era where even mundane family cars are shod with 18-inch-plus rims direct from the factory, dealers are prime targets for mass thefts. One Texas Chevy dealer took a big hit on Sunday, when 22 new cars were shorn of their wheels and tires by a gang of thieves.
Houston CBS affiliate KHOU reports that DeMontrond Chevrolet in Texas City suffered the loss sometime late Saturday or early Sunday. 88 tires and wheels went missing, as thieves pulled all the rims off the vehicles they hit. Photos from the scene show cars held up by bricks, jack stands, and other assorted junk. Unfortunately for the dealer, some of these cars fell off their precarious foundations. The resulting frame and body damage will add tens of thousands of dollars to the already steep replacement cost of the wheels. Insurance will probably pick up the tab for the direct financial losses, but the indirect costs of time and storage are likely to be significant.
From the pictures, it appears that new Camaros, Impalas, and a few trucks were targeted by the thieves. It’s easy to see why: a brand new set of Camaro takeoff wheels sells for around two grand online. Neither the Camaro nor the Impala have wheel locks as standard equipment. GM does offer a set of locking lug nuts for both models as a $90 accessory. Such locks won’t foil the most determined thieves, who can pick or drill out the nuts. Even so, they may deter the street-level thief looking for an easy opportunity, if not the sophisticated dealership bandit.
This wasn’t the first time a Texas dealership targeted for a mass wheel theft. Back in May of last year, Mac Haik Ford in Georgetown lost nearly 200 wheels off of 48 vehicles in another overnight theft. Row after row of shiny new cars and trucks with wheels worth several hundred dollars apiece are an irresistible plum to thieves. Given the trend towards larger, more expensive rims on mass-market vehicles, OEMs owe it to their dealers and their customers to start taking wheel thefts seriously. Standard locking lug nuts will help, but it may be time to start exploring alternative technologies.
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- Pig_Iron Emissions and safety inspections are wholly unnecessary as both systems are designed to last the life of the vehicle. ✌ But they will not be discontinued, because to Marxists/fascists, "There is no truth but power". And for power, you need to control other's lives. It's never really about safety, ecology, gender, race, religion etc. - it's really about control. Happy "Pride Season". 🏳🌈
- Dukeisduke It's at $12,188, with seven bids. Priced out of the average collector's budget.
- Jeff S I don't think safety inspections for most vehicles are necessary. There are so many ways that the system can be cheated and for those who maintain their vehicles and have newer vehicles it is an opportunity for an unscrupulous mechanic to rip them off. Most law enforcement agents will give citations to cars that are really bad and unsafe. As for emissions testing it should be limited to metropolitan areas of a million or more in population. These are my opinions after decades of experience and observation.
- Cprescott My current ride is paid off in December. Hopefully there will be no more car payments ever. So expensive these days and you have to really pay attention as there are so few actual cars being made in the affordable range.
- Jeff S Price seems high but then after Covid it probably isn't. Does appear that the car is complete and is restorable. Agree the seller will get at least that price and possibly more. I remember these early Mustangs well when I was growing up and remember the fastbacks were released in August of 64 as a 65 where the regular hardtop and convertible were released as 64 1/2s April 17, 1964. Brylcreem gave one of these original Mustangs away in a mail in contest.
Agree with most of B&B's sentiments here. Another reason, under inflation = big problem. I pity people who unknowingly drive around in under-inflated 45 section tires.
"Standard locking lug nuts will help, but it may be time to start exploring alternative technologies." How about the electric chair? Why do we go through so much effort to accommodate the existence of those who can't control their urges to harm others?