Northville Twp. police investigate tire thefts

Posted at 5:35 PM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 17:35:42-04

It's an all-too familiar sight across western Wayne County - tires stripped from parked vehicles in the middle of the night. It's not what Dave Belanger of Northville Township thought he'd ever see in his driveway. He woke up Friday morning to see his brand new, 2016 red Ford Explorer stripped of wheels and left raised on landscaping bricks.

"That was a shock," he said. "It makes you feel violated and it's not a fun deal."

The thieves hit a neighbor's Lincoln, too, in the condo complex off Beck Road, south of 6 Mile.

Northville Township police say these two incidents are the first tire thefts of the year, but they expect to see many more. Just last December, the township saw at least 20 tire thefts in a three-week span. It's a popular crime because there's great reward with little risk of getting caught.

"They're able to gain several hundred dollars for a set of wheels and there's an infinite supply out there," Lt. Paul Tennies said.

The criminals have gotten so bold, they'll even hit under surveillance, like they did two weeks ago in Brownstown Township.

Police say they can also get around other deterrents like wheel locks, but they advise it's always a good idea to have them.

"I have one vehicle that had wheel locks and one that didn't, and the one that didn't have wheel locks are gone," Belanger said.

Police across Wayne County are now working together asking for public tips.

Northville Township police are assuring neighbors they'll be increasing patrols during the night, especially between the hours of 2 and 6 a.m.