Car problems

Beating A Wheel Thief At His or Her Own Game

Wheel Thief

Thousands of Americans have been victims of wheel theft over the years and wonder why their vehicles were targeted. The answer is simple – it is a quick, easy, and lucrative crime for thieves, and there haven’t been ideal solutions to protect oneself.

However, there are ways to beat a wheel thief and protect your car or truck with advanced technologies, but it also takes an understanding of their mindset to do so.

Are Car Thefts Common?

Are Car Thefts Common

Every day, millions of Americans rely heavily on their vehicles. A typical day may include driving to work, the gas station, running errands, dropping kids off at school or a soccer game, and finally, parking it at home. Unfortunately, the everyday driver likely does not consider that a wheel thief may be lurking in the background, could have already spotted their car, and targeted it for their next heist, watching and waiting for the right moment to spring into action. Sadly, many wake to find their car on cinder blocks, wheels gone, thousands of dollars of reinvestment needed to drive it again.

Auto and wheel theft are incredibly common. Data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau suggests car theft in the US occurs about once every 32 seconds. Car and wheel theft are most frequent around major cities, and common cars (e.g., Honda, Chevrolet, Ford) and luxury cars (e.g., Lexus, Genesis) are both targets. Wheel and tire theft claims increased in 2023, according to WheelNet, and Premium Services reports that wheel and tire theft claims ranged from hundreds to $17,000, with an average of $2,800 for four tires and wheels.

Best Way to Prevent it

stop wheel theft

Lock Horns LLC is a company on the frontlines of helping to stop wheel theft. They understand the mindset of a wheel thief – to thieves, this crime is:

  • Fast, as all 4 wheels can be removed in mere minutes.
  • Easy, as it requires minimal equipment (e.g., torque wrench to remove lug nuts) and doesn’t require a big team.
  • Anonymous, as they can commit crimes in early morning hours and wear face masks and other disguises to avoid being identified by video recordings.
  • Low risk and high reward, as there is a high likelihood of getting away without being caught.
  • Lucrative, as tires and rims are in high demand and can be resold for thousands.
  • Ripe with opportune targets, as common cars and luxury cars both earn them a significant payday.
  • Indefensible, as wheel owners haven’t had ideal defense systems.

Most protect their vehicles’ wheels with ‘wheel locks’ – specialized lug nuts, one per wheel, with a flower-like design and complimentary adapter for installation and removal. While these may deter some thieves, the sophisticated thief likely laughs and is undaunted by this insufficient solution, as they can purchase the exact same wheel lock and adapter you did and easily remove your lug nuts and wheels. Wheel locks aren’t expensive so one heist can net the thief thousands of dollars to spend on many of the common kits. The name of the product wheel ‘locks’ is a misnomer, as they do not actually lock. They are intended as a simple deterrent which hopes to push the thief to another car on the street with more standard lug nuts.

Locking up our belongings is critical to our sense of security and peace of mind. We strive to protect ourselves, our families, possessions, and identities from being stolen. We lock everything: our homes, cars, bikes, computers, desks, filing cabinets, gym lockers, and more. Instead of using a lock and key to secure these expensive possessions, could you imagine using a product with the same level of security as these common wheel locks? Would you feel secure knowing a thief could possess an identical adapter or unlocking device as yours? No – you’d choose an individualized lock and key every time.

With wheel theft still a major problem, and on the rise over recent years, there has been an unmet need for improvements, invention, and disruptive new technology. Thankfully, there is hope and reason for optimism! There are new, promising, innovative solutions which are looking to elevate one’s sense of wheel security, and provide more layers of protection against theft. New products with enhanced security features are now becoming available, which aim to be superior theft deterrents. Some cover the lug nuts completely, while others use an actual individualized lock and key solution.

Modern and Simple Solutions

To protect against a wheel thief, I offer three simple suggestions:

  1. Park safe: Whenever possible, park your car in a garage or driveway instead of on-street.
  2. Lock up: Lock your wheels like you lock your car doors – with a key! Use a product which provides an individualized solution like a lock and key for optimal theft deterrence and security.
  3. Store safely: Store the key and/or adapter somewhere other than your glove compartment – there have been thieves who have broken car windows to search the glove compartment for the adapters.

There are other ways as well. The best example are some new models of vehicles where you can monitor the car and even control certain functions while being away from it. For example, you can control Tesla from 200 ft. But let’s be real, that won’t stop the theft if you live it on another part of the town. But it can work when the car is parked in the backyard since you will be able to use an app and check the cameras on the vehicle.

Another great solution is to use AirTags. You know, just hide one on some well-hidden spot. It will help the police track your vehicle without any issues.

Last Words

car theft

Most Americans do not have extra thousands of dollars lying around to spend on replacement wheels shortly after purchasing a car. The invasive, awful feeling of being robbed is all too common if you return to your parking spot and your car is on cinder blocks with no wheels, or worse, completely gone. These new products aim to better protect your investment, your family, your security, and your peace of mind.

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