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The Wheel Bandits are Back

by Prince Of Petworth — March 29, 2017 at 12:30 pm 14 Comments

stolen tires
photo from a previous incident last year

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve noticed a couple cars in the Capitol Hill and Kingman Park neighborhoods (where I live) propped up on cinderblocks with their tires stolen. I saw a Toyota Camry at 13th and D streets in that condition yesterday morning, and late last week saw one near 14th and Maryland.

Is this something you’ve been seeing/hearing reports of?

I guess a Camry could have a specialty tires on it, but short of that I’m confused as to why a Camry would be targeted (as the driver of a pretty popular, fairly standard vehicle (just don’t tell that to my car).”

Ed. Note: Last year we had a number of incidents from Shaw but I haven’t heard of any others in Capitol Hill recently. It seems to come in waves all over the District every 6 months or so.

  • Anon Spock

    Specialty sell at a higher price, but regular tires sell now easily. Camries see the most popular car brand.

  • CS

    There have been quite a few reports of this in the Hill East Facebook group over the last few days – all around that area.

  • K

    This just happened to our neighbors last week. We all came out in the morning to bring the kids to school to find her car up on those plastic soda crate things and no tires. In the 16 years I have lived in DC I had never witnessed wheel bandits before. We live in the greater Deanwood area of Ward 7.

  • DCbyDay

    i live in Arlington, and a Camry in my building lot had their tires stolen as well… I think it’s pretty common because the cars are so common.

  • JF

    how long does something like this take? i always assumed car robberies/break-ins were done quickly. i guess this area is quiet at night but still, seems like you’d be at it for a while.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Not long. With a few guys, they could do this in a matter of minutes I would think.

  • John in Brookland

    I think that’s a Honda Accord in the photo. My neighbor has had her Accord Sport wheels stolen twice since December.

  • CR

    About 3 years year’s ago I lived in Shaw and someone tried to take the tires off my car. I think I was parked too close to the curb because it appeared they couldn’t get them out of the wheel well. Amateurs maybe? One actually got punctured as a result. I drive a Chevy Cruze. When I called the police to report the officer that arrived actually refused to take my report, informed me that no one would try to steal the tires from such a basic car, and accused me of drunk driving/crashing my car as the explanation for the damage. I’ve had a window broken before, but having to get new tires is way worse. At least with the window the office didn’t accuse me of breaking it myself.

    • Parick Division

      And, in a nutshell, this is why DC crime rates are *appearing* to decrease while my lying eyes and anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise.

      Victim: I’d like to report an assault with injury.
      MPD: Nice story. What it looks like to me is that you stabbed yourself 22 times with a kitchen knife and hit yourself in the face another dozen times with an aluminum baseball bat. Tell the truth; you tried to commit suicide but botched it, didn’t you? Imma mark this down as a request for mental health services rather than make a report for a violent crime.

      • ontarioroader

        Like when my license plates were stolen off my car and the officer wrote it up as “lost property”. The bolts were lying on the ground next to the bumper…

  • LM

    Our neighbor (a contractor who is currently flipping the house) woke up to over 100 tires in the backyard a few weeks ago.He called the police but they still have yet to come by to retrieve them or look into it. We live in Carver Langston which sounds like it could potentially be the dumping point for the tires being stolen.

    • K

      Most likely those aren’t stolen tires. They are probably being dumped by either a hauler or an autobody shop. Happens all the time. We just had a case of several hundred tires being dumped on the side of Eastern Ave near my house. DPW and MPD investigated and it was the autobody shop near by that dumped them their. Way cheaper then paying to have them hauled away and properly disposed of.

  • inrosedale

    Saw an infiniti G series on blocks this AM and two front tires missing On C st. in between 20th and 21st. A few folks standing around it. Thought nothing of it until i saw this post.

  • P

    I was recently a victim of this. I live in the Capitol Hill area and had all four of my wheels stolen off of my vehicle. It happened back in February and I came out one morning to find my car up on bricks that the thieves took from my neighbors yard. I filed a report with MPD but have heard nothing back yet. Another car a block over had it’s wheels and rims stolen too the very same night.

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