Thieves target wheels of cars
Thieves have stolen wheels from 15 cars in the same area over the past month.
The vehicles, which were targeted in the Belgrave area of Leicester, were left on blocks of wood or bricks.
One victim did not realise a wheel was missing from her car and attempted to drive off.
Police are increasing patrols in the affected streets, which include Harrison Road, Catherine Street, Canon Street and Loughborough Road.
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In most cases, the thieves have stolen just one wheel from each car, although a small number have had all four removed.
One of the victims, whose car was targeted while it was parked outside his home in the Melton Road area at the weekend, said: "It's really strange.
"They took one off my car and I just can't work out why."
Ratilal Govind, chairman of Belgrave United Neighbourhood Watch, said: "I think someone is making money out of this somehow.
"I don't think it's vandalism – otherwise people would be finding the wheels.
"Police have increased patrols and I'm sure they will get to the bottom of this but they will need our help."
Sergeant Sarah Widdowson, of Belgrave police station, said the thieves were likely to be travelling in a vehicle.
Sgt Widdowson said: "Officers will be working in plain clothes and uniform and will continue to maximise the forensic opportunities in order to locate those responsible.
"We have also been delivering leaflets in the area warning motorists and asking them to check their cars before driving off.
"We have had one person try to drive away, not realising their wheels had been stolen.
"I am also appealing to the public for their help. If you see anybody removing wheels or have been offered any for sale then please call police on 101.
"We believe that a vehicle is being used to take the tyres away."
Police offered the following crime prevention advice to motorists:
Consider fitting locking wheel nuts to your car. These are relatively cheap and easy to fit but hard to remove without the correct fitting.
If possible, store your car in a garage.
Fit sensor-activated security lights outside your home.
Contact Sgt Widdowson on 101 or Crimestoppers, which is anonymous, on 0800 555 1111.