Wheel Thieves Targeting Cars In North Center, Lincoln Square, Uptown

Wheel thieves hit this car in Lincoln Park recently. | Photo courtesy HeyJackass.com

Chicago’s notorious wheel thieves have hit parts of the 19th (Town Hall) District hard in recent weeks, police say. In a new community alert issued on Wednesday, detectives identified eight cases since January 22 in which victims’ cars have been de-wheeled and left resting on cinder blocks.

The thefts have been happening during overnight hours on residential streets, police said, but no offender description was offered. Typically, a large vehicle that can carry several tires is used.

According to the alert, recent cases have been reported in North Center, Lincoln Square, and Uptown:

• 4300 block of North Bell on January 22 or 23
• 2200 block of West Cullom at 5 a.m. on January 29
• 2400 block of West Wilson on February 1 or 2
• 2600 block of West Sunnyside between February 5 and 7
• 1900 block of West Sunnyside on February 6 or 7
• 4300 block of North Oakley on February 6 or 7
• 4700 block of North Hermitage on February 8 or 9
• 4600 block of North Paulina on February 8 or 9

While the alert does not specify the makes or models of the targeted cars, wheel thieves are known to favor compact vehicles—particularly Hondas—with small tires.

Why? Cops in other parts of the country say that Honda wheels have a common bolt pattern. That makes them easy to resell—and their small, 19-inch size are “stylish” when bolted to a souped-up car.

In Cleveland, police offered the following tips during a tire theft surge:

• Park your car in a garage.
• Leave lights on outside overnight.
• Get locking lug nuts for your wheels.
• Make sure your car is locked with the alarm on.

Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to call Area North detectives at 312-744-8263.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets.