MIAMI - Hollywood police are stepping up patrols in parts of the city following an uptick in tire thefts.
In February alone, police report 21 instances of tires being stolen from cars.
Eileen Rosario lives in Hollywood Hills. At about 3 a.m. Wednesday morning, her dog began barking. When she looked outside she caught tire thieves in the act, just as they were about to pull out.
"I did some not so nice words, apparently," Rosario said. "They apologized, said 'sorry' and just kept going."
They left her car up on blocks with the front end in the dirt.
Hollywood police say this month alone there are 21 cases of stolen tires.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the most common targets are the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry.
Jerry King works at Car Boutique tire shop in Davie. "How often do you see something like this?" CBS 4's Ted Scouten asked. "About 3-4 per month in this area," King said.
In the strip mall parking lot where the is located, there's another car missing tires.
"I noticed yesterday that the tires are missing and this is how they leave the vehicle, take the tag, take the rims, tires, and leave it on, as you see there, pallets," explained Jason Gonzales, who works at a neighboring business.
Tire thefts come as no surprise to King, considering the spike in tire prices from before and after COVID.
"Average cost for something like a Grand Caravan or Toyota Sienna would be around $100 a tire. At the moment you're looking at about $150 to $200 a tire at introductory price," King said.
Hollywood police spokeswoman Deanna Bettineschi has some tips on how to protect your car tires from theft.
"They can park in a well-lit area, they can also, if there's something near their house where they can park near a curb they can park near a curb and also turn their wheels which makes it more difficult for the thieves to actually get the wheels off," she explained.
King says it's also a good idea to get two different lug nut locks as a way to deter a thief from targeting your car. "They come with different patterns," he explains. "These are the best manner to deter the individuals from stealing," he said.
If someone steals your tires the Insurance Information Institute says if you have comprehensive coverage, the theft is covered.
for more features.