WASHINGTON — A frustrating crime is popping up on the radar of police in Northern Virginia: Drivers are reporting that the wheels are being stolen from their cars.
Aaron Moorefield, of Arlington, said that on Aug. 3 he became the victim of a crime he’d never even heard of.
“As I was walking back to my building, I noticed my car just sitting — not even on cinder blocks — just on a couple of plastic milk crates with all four wheels just gone. … First and foremost, I was in disbelief,” Moorefield said.
Two weeks later, his roommate’s car tires were stolen. Both were hit while parked in their Pentagon City apartment garage.
It has happened to five cars since June 1, said Ashley Savage, with the Arlington County police.
Moorefield said officers told him they believe it’s the same vandals. He also believes the popularity of his Honda Accord makes it a target for thieves who can easily resell the parts.
“There are multiple people who have been hit multiple times. They’ve gone through their claims, gotten their car fixed and then hit again,” Moorefield said. “Right now my car is fixed. I don’t want to bring it back to my parking lot because I know it’s just a sitting duck out there,” he said.
The crime is not specific to Arlington County. Fairfax County investigators say at least one tire or rim was stolen from 30 cars between June 1 and July 31 this year.
To keep a vehicle better protected from thieves, police suggest parking in a well-lit, high-traffic area.