SCRANTON — Some drivers in Scranton have recently found their cars up on cinder blocks and the wheels gone.
Scranton police say six drivers in south Scranton had their tires swiped earlier this month. Then it seemed the thieves stopped. But two more drivers, this time in the city’s Hill Section, woke up and found their cars were missing all four wheels.
Now, detectives are trying to figure out who is behind these thefts and what their motivations might be.
Dave Cawley’s wife typically takes her Honda Fit to work. But she woke up Monday morning to find only cinder blocks keeping the car from hitting the ground.
“My daughter woke me up at 6 this morning and said, ‘Mom took the van because we have no tires on the car,’” Cawley said.
The Cawleys are among the latest victims of an unusual string of thefts, according to Scranton police. In all, eight cars – either Hondas or Toyotas – have had wheels swiped this month. Police say it happened first in south Scranton then to Dave Cawley’s Hill Section neighborhood.
Just around the corner on Sherwood Court, police believe the same thieves took all four tires off of a Honda Civic but this time they left the jacks behind and police believe these might be important evidence.
Police say the thieves left the car jacks under Toyotas on Willow Street and in a few other areas of south Scranton.
One victim said the jacks saved her Toyota from further damage, but new wheels led to a hefty bill.
“It was jacked up on the one side and there were two tires missing. And the other two tires were detached but they weren’t able to take them because it was too close to the curb.”
In all, police say the thieves took 16 wheels from eight different cars between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
Police believe the thieves are quick and quiet. So far, no one’s spotted anything suspicious until they go out to their car in the morning.
“They’re going to slip up. If someone’s a criminal you’re going to slip up at some point. They’re not that smart. People think they are but they’re not that smart.
Police say they don’t know why the thieves have been targeting Hondas and Toyotas specifically but we talked to employees at a Toyota dealership in Scranton who said those models are popular and you can often find used tires for sale on the internet. That’s where the stolen wheels may have ended up.