Update on Wheel Thieves

Amy Arellano, a GWU doctoral student in occupational therapy with her Toyota Corolla and its new wheels on Friday afternoon. Thieves stole the wheels Wednesday night on the unit block of 7th Street, SE.  She reported the crime to the police and said a detective told her they would do everything they could for her. 

Update on Wheel Thieves

By Larry Janezich

Posted August 26, 2022

A resident of the unit block of 7th Street where the wheels were stolen from a vehicle Wednesday night, alerted CM Charles Allen to the theft and to two other thefts nearby. 

 Allen responded as follows: 

Thanks for sharing with me. Do you know if the owner has reported to MPD? I’m finding frequently, folks haven’t reported these thefts to MPD and they definitely need to know when and where it happens. I was speaking with 1st District leadership about this the other day and they said it’s happening all over DC and the region, but that they have look-outs among officers for what they think are two separate crews doing this. They obviously move very quickly… but MPD … feels like they have a good sense of a few look-outs they’re on the watch for.  In addition, if any neighbors’ security cameras happened to catch video of the thefts, please share that we need that video sent to MPD to help with their investigations.

A visit to the scene on Friday afternoon found Arellano’s vehicle in the final stages wheel replacement.  John Slacum said that he has done three wheel replacements recently – “They come into a neighborhood and get what they’re after and you never see them again.”  He said a set of wheels cost $3,000 from a dealership and the thieves sell them on the street for $500.  They target popular cars like Toyotas and Hondas because demand for wheels is high, rather than more expensive cars.  
Just across East Capitol in the unit block of 7th Street, SE, a second vehicle – this one a Honda Civic – was still unattended while its owner is out of town.  Police had just arrived to begin an investigation.  A neighbor was overheard saying that a resident has security camera videotape of the theft. 

(A reader reports that another vehicle was hit Wednesday night as well – a Lexus RX parked on Constitution in the 1200 or 1300 block.  Another reader reports that four wheels were stolen from a new Honda Pilot on C Street, SE between 11th and 12th.  CHC has not confirmed these thefts independently.) 


Filed under Uncategorized

5 responses to “Update on Wheel Thieves

  1. Bruce Normann

    Are wheel locks effective in preventing theft, or do the theives have master keys?

  2. Craig D'Ooge

    Wheel locking bolts can slow them down, but not foolproof. And if you get a flat , the tow company charges extra to deal with them.

  3. JSmith

    If you follow Nextdoor, many people who have had wheels stolen did have wheel locks and it was not a deterrent.

  4. Former Gr

    In addition to the Honda Pilot on C St between 11th and 12th that’s in the article, a Toyota also had its wheels stolen that night on C St between 12th and 13th.

  5. muskellunge

    Wheel locks are easy to defeat, and there are many videos of this.
    First one that came up —