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Polk County thieves are targeting your wheels

Posted at 2:29 PM, Jun 05, 2017

A warning for those living in or near Davenport, Florida: Thieves are taking advantage of vehicles left out in the open.

At least five people have fallen victim to their tires being stolen in the last week.

Not an often occurrence, in the small town of Davenport.

"Especially in this area, it's not big here," Stephen Boykin, with Car Care Center said.

Victims posted pictures to Facebook showing cars stripped bare of their tires. We asked why criminals would be targeting cars in this area, or at all. 

According to Boykin, it's an easy resale, and some can be sold for a lot of money.

""In certain vehicles rims can go for $1,000 each," Boykin explained.

Toyota Camry's seem to be hot choice for local criminals at three were targeted at the Bella Trae community in Davenport within the last week.

Victims say it is usually happening in the early hours of the day, and that their vehicles were not in their garages.

The most startling part, many say they live in a gated and rather secure neighborhood.

Technicians at the Car Care Center demonstrated just how easy it was by using what is called an electric gun. If the wheels aren't locked they can be loosened up and removed in under five minutes.

Even an unnamed employee of the body shop said he was the victim of a recent auto theft.

His Lexus was stolen and later found stripped of it's rims.

"It had a body kit on it. They stole the body kit off they stole the rims, and tires off of it and they actually put the wheel locks back on." Denny Longworth show ABC Action News.

Wheel locks are usually the answer, and a cheap solution.

But technicians say security cameras, and keeping your vehicle in the garage will do the trick too.

Areas affected include Spring Lake, Celebration and Davenport.