"Pit Crew" Thieves Target Pimped Rides

By Frank Heinz
|  Friday, Apr 3, 2009  |  Updated 2:17 PM EDT
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Pit Crew-Like Thieves After Big, Shiny Rims

You don't want to see this first thing in the morning.

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Pit Crew-Like Thieves After Big, Shiny Rims

Plano Police are dealing with a rash of wheel thefts where the thieves move with the speed and precision of a NASCAR pit crew.
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Plano Police are dealing with a rash of wheel thefts where the thieves move with the speed and precision of a NASCAR pit crew.

According to some, big, shiny wheels give a vehicle a little more swagger -- but they are also giving some a headache.

Joe Froehlich is one of those owners.  Froehlich's Chevy Avalanche is the definition of going nowhere fast after he woke to find all four of his wheels had been stolen while he slept in his Plano home.

"It eats up your day. It frustrates you and it will cost you money," said Froehlich. "Any child coming by could have been, well, could have been killed, because it was on a couple of pieces of stone and a jack. With this wind today it could have easily fallen over."

Rich McDonald with the Plano police said they have had about 20 reports this year of stolen wheels and that the crews work somewhat like a NASCAR pit crew -- quickly, but much more quietly.

Officials said mainly GM models like the Escalade, Denali, Yukon and Silverado are targeted and that wheel locks do not always prevent your wheels from being stolen.

Just ask theft victim Mike Wasserman.

"They broke in through the passenger side window, raised the compartment ... took the wheel lock and took the wheels off the vehicle," said Wasserman.

Police said that rim thefts aren't always carried out in quiet, overnight thefts.  Many carjackings aren't for the car as much as they are for the wheels -- which, police say, is something to consider when pimping your ride.

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