Police report increase in spare tire thefts

YUMA, Ariz. – The Yuma Police Department is warning Jeep Wrangler owners of an increase in spare tire thefts.

“It’s just Jeep Wrangler tires, it’s the tires on the back,” says Sgt. Lori Franklin with the Yuma Police Department, “They are just taking the lug nuts off and taking the tires.”

Police say there have been 10 reported cases this year and more than half of them occurred in July.

“We had one in January, one in February, two in May, two in June and six so far this month,” Franklin says.

The total cost for all the tires stolen adds up to about $3,000.

Franklin says,“Per the reports we’ve been getting in, the estimated cost is between $250 to $350 depending on how much they have invested in the rim and the tire.”

As of now, police say there is no pattern to the thefts and they happen at all times during the day. Franklin says it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when a theft happens because some victims do not notice when their spare tire is stolen.

“We don’t have a specific time because when the people report them it could be any time of the day,” says Franklin.

There is no surveillance video or descriptions of the suspects which makes solving these thefts more difficult.

Franklin says, “We haven’t been able to get any video footage so we have no suspect information just the fact that they are taking them.”

Police asks Wrangler owners to be cautious about their spares and to be on the lookout for thieves.

There’s different ways to secure the tires to your vehicles they do make specific lug nuts that are locking. You need a specific socket to get it out,” says Franklin.

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