Police are investigating a series of wheel thefts in the Tysons area.
Over the last two months, five cars have had their wheels stolen around Tysons, including two vehicles at different locations earlier this week, according to a Fairfax County Police Department recap from Tuesday.
One larceny took place in the 1500 block of Lincoln Way in The Fountains at McLean neighborhood. The other was at the 1500 block of Westbranch Drive, northeast of Tysons Galleria.
Fairfax County Police Sgt. James Curry said thieves typically remove the entire wheel, including the rims and the tires, leaving the vehicle propped up on cinder blocks.
Three other thefts have been reported in the area by FCPD since the beginning of February:
- The 7900 block of Jones Branch Drive
- The 1500 block of Westbranch Drive
- The 7900 block of Jones Branch Drive again
The Highgate at the Mile is a mixed-use development at 7900 block of Jones Branch Drive. One resident of the building told Tysons Reporter that the building’s garage requires a clicker to enter. Building management sent an email to residents warning of “vandalism” in the parking garage after the theft.
Curry said residents of buildings with parking garages should be vigilant about “piggybacking” — people entering the facility on someone else’s pass. Sometimes car thieves also arrive in vehicles that slip in behind a car that legitimately accesses the building, Curry said.
If the garage door to a complex is not functioning, Curry advised alerting the leasing agency or a homeowner’s association
A Redditor claiming to be the victim of the larceny at Fountains at McLean took to the Northern Virginia subreddit to warn others about the incident. According to the Reddit post:
Hey all, just a quick warning. I just had the wheels stolen off of my 2018 Charger on Sunday night from the parking garage in my apartment complex. I filed a police report and the officer with whom I spoke said that this is becoming a much more prevalent problem in the area, with thieves targeting vehicles even in open parking lots.
My car had wheel locks, but unfortunately they really don’t do anything except slow the thieves down by a few seconds, as most of the perpetrators in this area are professionals, and are in and out within minutes. Just a caution for everyone, perhaps consider installing tilt sensors or dash cameras in your vehicles to prevent something like this from happening to you. Definitely the first purchase I’ll make once my car is back up and running.