Resurgence in wheel thefts hits St. Paul


It's a crime that hasn't been common since the 1980's but wheel thefts are happening all too frequently in part of western St. Paul.

The Pioneer Press reports tires and rims are being stolen right off of cars at a rapid pace in recent weeks.

St. Paul police Sgt. Jim Gray told the newspaper there have been more than 30 thefts or attempted thefts of wheels between Nov. 8 and Tuesday in the police department's Western District.

In those crimes, all four rims and tires are removed from the vehicle in most cases, leaving the vehicle on things like cinderblocks or landscaping blocks.

The types of vehicles that have been hit the hardest in St. Paul include Chevrolet Suburbans, Tahoes, Avalanches, Silverados, Monte Carlos, GMC Yukons and Cadillac Escalades, Gray told the Pioneer Press.

"I think...there's a high-demand market for the used Chevy tires and rims – apparently they can't make them quick enough," Gray said

While there have been other cases around the city, the Pioneer Press reports most of the problems have been south of Interstate 94 in the Summit Hill, Summit-University, Union Park, Macalester-Groveland and Highland Park neighborhoods.

Gray told the newspaper that police are looking into whether the thieves have been selling the rims online.

There has been a resurgence of the crime around the country as anonymous online marketplaces make it easier for thieves to access potential customers.

In other major cities around the country Hondas have also been a popular target, especially the new Honda Fit.

Gray advises that people try and park their vehicles in a garage to keep it safe them possible, according to the Pioneer Press. Another deterrent would be installing locking lug nuts. Gray also advises people to know what brand of tires they have and to engrave identifiable markings on their vehicle's rims.

Next Up

Kenta Maeda

Twins pull Maeda early, White Sox pummel bullpen

Jose Abreu's two-run homer gave the White Sox a 9-3 victory.

boys volleyball

Girls wrestling sanctioned as MSHSL activity; boys volleyball 2 votes shy

There will be section and state tournaments for girls-only wrestling next school year.

P.J. Fleck

Gopher players defend PJ Fleck after WCCO-TV report

"The public has made our statement," a U of M spokesperson said.

vaccine, covid

Twin Cities police investigating COVID vaccine thefts in viral videos

Videos of both incidents were recorded and shared online.

Guthrie theater

Guthrie to reopen to the public in July, shows resume this fall

The theater has been closed to the public for more than a year.

Target - good and gather plant based

Target is launching more than 30 new plant-based grocery products

All are part of the company's hit Good & Gather brand.

Roller Garden

Roller Garden to auction off skates, signs, arcade games and more

Many items from the beloved Roller Garden will be up for auction next month.

joseph ness booking photo

Charges: Chanhassen man fired hundreds of rounds, killing his sister

Six rifles, including AR-15 and AK-47 variants, were found inside the home.

police lights

Woman robbed and assaulted at gunpoint in Waite Park, police say

The incident occurred on Sunday at around 11:30 p.m.

pixabay - marijuana cannabis

Marijuana legalization: Minnesota House to vote Thursday

The "historic" vote on the House floor is set for Thursday afternoon.


catalytic converter st. paul pd

Amid spike in catalytic converter thefts, St. Paul PD offers to mark devices

The thefts of the devices have skyrocketed because the value of the precious metals they contain is increasing.