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Florida man visiting friends in DC has wheels stolen off car as string of thefts continues

WJLA – Washington D.C. logo WJLA – Washington D.C. 9/23/2022 Sam Ford
© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

Terry Robinson from Tallahassee rented a car to visit friends in D.C. He said after hanging out until about 1 a.m., he parked his car in a lot outside his friend’s building.

7News met him Thursday morning as A-1 towing was about to remove his car that fit the profile: Toyota or Honda, all four wheels were gone, the car held up by yellow soda crates and lug nuts all over the pavement. Also, no arrests were made.

“I’m from Florida,” Robinson told 7News, “I come to visit and this is what happened.”

READ MORE: Lack of arrests questioned in ongoing theft of car wheels in DC; Bowser responds

He said the responding police officer told him it’s happening to everybody.

Robinson, who said he’d never heard of this particular crime, said the good thing was it was a rental, and the rental company has already given him another car, ”so I can get back to Florida.” 

A-1 tow truck driver Ibrahim Aburish, who prefers the nickname, Beebo, says he’s removed 80 cars with stolen wheels, including Robinson’s rental.

RELATED: MPD looking for people caught on camera allegedly stealing tires from cars

Who does he believe is doing this?

“I think it's professionals,” Beebo said. “I think they have a racket going and either they have a nice line of people they’re selling to, [or] they're selling to a bunch of shops. I’m not sure I think it’s something on the low. Nobody knows it’s too many times, way too many times, too many rims.”

No word of any arrests in the DMV for these wheel thefts.

Captain Jeffrey Kopp with MPD says these types of thefts are hard to track.

Caption: Capt Jeffrey Kopp with MPD discusses the ongoing wheel thefts in the District.

"Tires and rims, they’re just difficult items to track," he said. "They don’t have VIN numbers, they don’t have serial numbers -- they don’t those kinds of identifiers that we find on other items that they could be easier and more readily tracked."

He added that it's an ongoing problem, not just in D.C.

"What I can say is that different things out there, several different vehicles involved. Sometimes those are repeat vehicles that we’re working diligently to identify," he said. "And it's not just a D.C. problem, it’s a regional problem and we are communicating with our regional parties surrounding agencies regarding these thefts."

Florida man visiting friends in DC has wheels stolen off car as string of thefts continues
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