DANVILLE, Ind. – Thieves are stealing tires and rims off parked cars, leaving them posted up on cement blocks and Danville police believe these crimes are part of a spree stretching across county lines.
In the past three weeks, there have been four similar thefts reported in the Danville area.
“For someone to come out on my property I feel violated. I feel upset,” said Nick Heffley, a theft victim.
Over the weekend, Heffley was trying to sell his Jeep, so he had it parked at the end of his driveway in Hendricks County. A few days later, he was out driving it on the highway when he had a close call.
“It really took me completely into the left lane, in front of a semi,” said Heffley.
Heffley was forced to swerve off the road, barely missing the semi. He says when he stopped he realized this was no accident, it was intentional.
“When I looked down at the wheel, down at where the studs are, there were no lug nuts at all,” said Heffley.
Heffley thinks someone tried stealing his tire and something scared them away before they could take it off.
“I would rather them just stole the wheels. What I have been upset? Yes, but at the same time I could’ve been killed. Someone else could’ve been killed. It’s not worth it to me,” said Heffley.
This report is just the most recent. Danville police believe it’s connected to other theft cases at Settlers Run apartment complex, where thieves stole tires and rims from parked vehicles.
“This isn’t just somebody from Danville who decided to go steal some nice wheels because they drove by and saw them. This is a group of individuals that this is what they do. They come with the stuff prepared to do it and they do it quickly,” said Nate Lien with the Danville Police Department.
Investigators say the thieves are targeting specific wheels.
“They’re not looking for somebody’s stock rims on a normal, everyday car. We’re thinking they’re looking for high dollar, high end tires and rims,” said Lien.
Danville police are working with nearby agencies who report they’ve seen the same type of crime lately.
Heffley wants these thieves to know there’s another option besides stealing.
“It’s not worth it. It’s really not. If you need money, get a job,” said Heffley.
If you know anything that could help detectives catch these thieves, call Danville Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 317-745-3001.