Wheels have always been an important part of designing a good-looking car, but ever since the turn of the millennium automakers have been adding bigger and bigger wheels to their performance and luxury cars. 20-inch wheels now seems to be the standard for cars like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, and those big wheels require low-profile, high-performance rubber, adding thousands of dollars to the MSRP and tempting thieves with an easy target.
Targeting wheels and tires is nothing new, but the brazenness of a recent wheel robbery from Sterling Heights Dodge in Michigan is certainly newsworthy. According to Autoblog, thieves made off with an estimated $70,000 worth of tires and wheels from the dealership, leaving over a dozen SRT vehicles on blocks.
The original source for this story was a video, now private, posted to reddit, which goes over the crime in detail. We imagine that the authorities have since become involved, and a crime of this magnitude at a dealership armed with alarms and video cameras almost certainly required an insider. Another redditor chimed in that a Ford dealership in the same area had suffered a similar fate, however, so it could be the work of a professional band of wheel thieves as well.
In total it appears that as many as 20 vehicles were targeted, including four Challenger Hellcats. The Hellcat wheels alone fetch $800 each from Chrysler, or $3,200 per set without tires. Even at a black market discount of 50%, you’re talking about tens of thousands of dollars in stolen goods for a job that took perhaps an hour or two at most. It’s easy to see why wheels are such a tempting target, though it’s only a matter of time before this band of thieves sees their luck run out.