PINECREST (CBS4) – A South Florida couple woke up to find their cars sitting on cinder blocks—used by crooks to rip off pricey rims and tires.
“We couldn’t go anywhere. We woke up this morning and we walked out the door and there were no wheels,” said Pinecrest resident Kim Kaskel.
While Kaskel and her husband slept Thursday night, thieves stole all four rims and tires from her Infiniti, and her husband’s BMW. Both were parked in front of their Pinecrest home.
“It was like floating in air actually,” Bill Kaskel said. “There was no tire. It was just sitting on these blocks.”
“I felt kind of victimized that they are right in front of the house,” said Kaskl. “We didn’t hear anything, we have a dog and nobody saw anything.”
Several months ago a group of tire-jackers committed the same crime just a block away. They ripped rims and tires worth $20,000 off a Porsche and Mercedes.
“Kind of scary that you’re sleeping and this is going on,” said the victim Ana Cordero. “Obviously everything was orchestrated; they’re pros at what they were doing.”
The Corderos had surveillance cameras, but even that didn’t stop the thieves.
“It’s really astonishingly scary because when we see what happened, for us, it’s new and also it’s so close to the house where this occurred,” Patrick Cordero explained.
Pinecrest, Coral Gables and surrounding areas have received several similar reports.
“They’re targeting high end rims on vehicles,” said Detective Alexandra Martinez with Pinecrest Police. “They’re casing the area and once they identify the rims that they want they move very quickly.”
Pinecrest police say it’s unclear if this is an organized crime ring or if any of the thefts are connected.
“In less than 5 minutes they’re on the property, they remove the rims and they leave,” said Detective Martinez. “They come prepared… we believe they may be professionals, maybe in the industry of selling or buying rims.”
If you see something suspicious police ask that you report it right away, because it is easier to catch these crooks in the act.
On Friday, the Kaskel’s were cleaning out their garage to make sure they have a safe place for their cars.
“You never think it’s going to happen,” Bill Kaskel said. “We leave it out here all the time. But it does happen all around unfortunately.”