ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) -- If you drive a Honda and you live in Arlington, watch out. Several owners of “Fit” and “Civic” models are discovering their tires and rims were swiped overnight. The crimes appear to be escalating nationwide.
“I just couldn't believe it,” said Tara-Leeway Heights resident Jennifer Olsen. “I had never seen nothing like it before.”
She walked out her front door last week and found her family’s two cars stripped of wheels.
“There was actually body damage as well as the wheels so we've been over a week without cars,” she said, disappointed.
Thieves broke into her Honda Civic and used her own jacks to prop up her car and go to work.
“I had wheel locks on my car, but it didn't stop them,” she said.
The criminals then turned their focus on her husband's Honda’s Fit. The crime spree cost them $5,000 dollars in damage. Luckily, their insurance is footing the bill.
“It just really sort of makes you question humanity a little bit,” admitted Olsen. “We live in a nice neighborhood and we didn't expect anything like that.”
Arlington County Police report 42 vehicle tire and rim thefts so far this year. More than half the victims owned either a Honda Fit or Civic.
“It’s pretty crazy,” said Arlington resident Eric Brown. “I've never really heard of anyone doing that before.”
AAA says the wheels can be used for street racing and pull high prices on the illegal car parts market. Nationwide, Honda Accords rank number 1 and Honda civics number 2 for thefts.
“How are you going to get around?” questioned Brown. “I'd be furious.”
Several of his Ashton Heights neighbors are angery after spotting another Honda hit about 24 hours ago. “It’s really devastating,” said Laura Dryden.
She has noticed three Hondas without wheels in just weeks and hopes police put the brakes on this troubling trend. “It’s not an easy expense and it doesn't make the neighborhood look good,” she said.
Arlington County police are offering a few tips so you don't become the next victim. They suggest installing an alarm system in your car, parking in a secure garage, if possible, and putting up motion light sensors outside your home. They also recommend locking your wheels in place.