INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 22, 2016) – After a handful of men steal aluminum wheels from an auto parts lot on Indianapolis’ southeast side, investigators need the public’s help. The most recent theft happened Monday morning just after 3 o’clock. Despite all efforts from the auto parts lot, the wheels keep disappearing.
“That’s the only thing they’re stealing,” said Jeremiah Johnson, owner of Brothers Auto Parts. He says he’s fed up and frustrated. “They come in, they’re in here about ten minutes and they’re out.”
This morning was the third time in six months that Brothers Auto Parts have had to deal with thieves. The first two times they came in and out through the fence.
“Each time just takes a whole day away from me, and it’s just a pain,” said Johnson who cites hundreds of dollars in stolen wheels, and thousands of dollars worth of repairs.
On January 12, thieves drove through the salvage yard’s fence to steal aluminum wheels, and then drove back out. Eight days later, it happened again.
“Drove through, were in and out of here in about eight minutes,” said Johnson. “I watched them on the surveillance.”
Brothers Auto Parts then built a cinderblock wall, which each block weighing four thousand tons. The hope was to keep the criminals out. But, early this morning, thieves showed up again. This time they plowed through the front gate, then through the lot to grab wheels and left once again through the fence.
“They just entered a different way because we’ve just secured the facility a little better,” said Johnson. “We’ve got an electric fence. We’ve got an eight-feet high chain-link fence. So I guess they figured the easiest way was to just drive a vehicle through the gate this time.”
Johnson says the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is heavily involved, and has mentioned to him that his lot is not the only salvage yard that’s been hit by thieves recently.
“In fact the second time we got broken into another facility had been hit the same night,” recalls Johnson.
But because each wheel is worth so little, Johnson says he thinks these thieves are just desperate.
“Our products are marked with stock numbers on it and vin numbers on it,” said Johnson. “There’s somebody that’s giving them half of the value. I’m sure, because of the fact that it’s stolen and somebody knows that it’s stolen and they’re buying it.”
The thefts are still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.