Thieves stealing bricks, then wheels

More St. Paul residents are telling Fox 9 about a criminal pattern: thieves are stealing neighbors' bricks to steal other neighbors' wheels. 

Most recently, on Thursday morning, Scott Burnett awoke to find his GMC pick-up without wheels. Burnett, who lives in the Mac-Groveland neighborhood, realized his neighbor’s landscaping bricks “were an accomplice to the crime.” His truck was sitting on four of the bricks.

Also troubling, Burnett had wheel locks, which make it harder to steal tires. “It may have slowed them down, but it certainly didn’t stop them,” Burnett told Fox 9.

A few days before Burnett was targeted, in the early hours of May 1st, a couple in the Como neighborhood had wheels stolen from their GMC Denali.

The St. Paul couple had posted to social media that thieves had stolen the wheels. Another neighbor saw the post and checked his security video, and “low and behold there’s somebody who had stolen four of our landscape blocks,” Matthew Williams said. “They were the same blocks underneath his car.”

In St. Louis Park, police are warning residents and visitors to take caution because wheels have been stolen from six cars in the Birchwood neighborhood since mid-March.

Residents are encouraged park in a closed garage whenever possible, and if parking outside, turn your wheels when parking. This makes the wheels harder to remove, because they get stuck in the wheel well. The car's steering column lock makes it difficult to turn the wheels forward again without the key for the ignition.

Officials also say to park in an area with lots of traffic and in view of surveillance cameras or a motion-triggered security light. People can also install a car alarm that includes sensors attached to the wheels or use wheel locks on each wheel, including your spare.