Thieves take 8 wheels off vehicles at Ypsilanti car dealership
Thieves swiped eight wheels from two Ford Explorers at the Gene Butman Ford dealership in Ypsilanti Monday night or early Tuesday morning and likely would have stolen more had they not been interrupted, the business's service director said.
"These guys were on their third and fourth vehicle," Butman said.
Butman said either police on patrol or the dealership's security guard happened upon the thieves while they were in the parking lot, causing them to flee.
Police were not able to catch the suspects, but Sgt. Brent Yuchasz of the Ypsilanti Police Department said seven of the rims were found in a rental van parked at an apartment complex in Ypsilanti.
Yuchasz said police are looking into who rented the van.
The dealership has surveillance cameras, but Butman said the cameras are near the main lot, too far from the overflow lot to provide any useful information. It's not clear how many people were involved.
Butman said thefts like this are common at car dealerships, because wheels have become so expensive. He said the single wheel that wasn't recovered costs approximately $785.
"It's very disappointing to say that this is something that is common," he said. No estimate of the damage to the vehicles was available. Butman said the cost of the wheel will be reimbursed by the dealership's insurance company.