North Texas Police Departments Form Wheel Theft Task Force

Thieves targeting large SUVs such as Escalades, Tahoes

By Ray Villeda
|  Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012  |  Updated 7:45 PM CDT
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Police say groups work together to steal wheels.

Ray Villeda, NBC 5

Police say groups work together to steal wheels.

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Several North Texas police departments are looking into an increase in wheel thefts.

The Plano, Garland, Coppell and Richardson police departments launched a task force Tuesday to investigate the thefts.

In the last 90 days, there have been 56 cases in Garland, Plano, Richardson, Coppell, the Park cities and Dallas.

Police said thieves target large sport utility vehicles such as Cadillac Escalades and Chevrolet Tahoes.

The thieves often work in groups, police said. One group will come through and loosen the lugnuts to make it easier for another group to come in. Most often, they use paving stones in driveways to prop the car up.

A bulletin from Plano police indicates the heists take place between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.

Police advise car owners to park their vehicle in their garage when possible. Lockable lugnuts, which are available at most auto stores, are also a good route.

Police sources say General Motors Co. is experiencing nationwide wheel shortages because there are so many requests coming in.

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