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Police Put Brakes on Tire-and-Rim-Theft Ring in Queens, Sources Say

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | November 6, 2014 7:36am
 A car parked on Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills was left on blocks in May, after thieves stole tires and rims from it.
A car parked on Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills was left on blocks in May, after thieves stole tires and rims from it.
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Alexa Weitzman

QUEENS — Police busted what they believe is a tire-and-rim-theft ring in Queens last month amid dozens of such incidents in the borough, police sources say.

On Oct. 15, police officers from the 109th Precinct, which covers Flushing, Whitestone and College Point, arrested three men as they tried to remove rims and tires from a 2012 Honda parked at 21st Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, police said.

So far the three men, who all live in Brooklyn, have been charged with one incident.

But police sources said that investigators believe the men belong to a ring responsible for a series of similar thefts in Queens.

Over the past several months police say there have been dozens of incidents in Queens in which thieves stole rims and tires and left the cars on cinder blocks, police said.

The thefts have occurred in various neighborhoods, including Forest Hills and Kew Gardens.

Several incidents took place after the men were arrested, police sources said.

In the 112th Precinct, which covers Forest Hills and Rego Park, there have been at least 21 such incidents this year. Thieves have been targeting mostly Hondas, but they also stole rims and tires from Infinities and Toyotas, according to the precinct.

On Oct. 2, Forest Hills police officers made another arrest related to rim and tire thefts.

The suspects were trying to remove rims and tires from a Honda parked on the Grand Central Parkway service road and 65th Avenue.

It was not clear if there was any overlap between the two arrests.

Capt. Judith Harrison, the precinct's commanding officer, said at a public meeting last week that one of the men arrested in Forest Hills told investigators that he also stole tires and rims from another car in Flushing.

“He said that he had those tires and rims that he had taken off the car in Flushing in his mother’s vehicle,” said Harrison. “We ended up getting the search warrant for that vehicle and we got the other tires and rims.”

Harrison suggested that car owners get locking lug nuts and install car alarms and tracking devices in their vehicles.