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EXCLUSIVE: Thieves target multiple cars, stealing wheels in Manchester

Alex Torres isn’t getting much sleep these days, “I have just had enough, I don’t feel comfortable sleeping at night,” he says.

And his growing frustration led him looking for help.

“I sent it out to all of the news organizations you guys (FOX61) were the only ones who contacted me back,” says Torres.

Torres says in the past few weeks crooks have been creeping around his car looking to steel his wheels right from his Manchester driveway, a scene he’s captured on his home security camera.

“They’ve actually targeted my car twice within two weeks, and I have just had enough. It looks like he has a tire iron in his hand and I was worried he was going to break a window or steal the tires.”

So Torres has been lucky, he bought locking lug nuts to deter the criminals but he says the thefts are happening around town. He told FOX61 to head to the Aspen Woods Apartments for more signs of trouble, so we did.

“One of my neighbors, his tires were stolen and this is happening to him for the second time,” says Nidhi Sinha.

When FOX61  got there we found people checking on their cars, showing us the cinder blocks criminals left behind and making plans to watch the neighborhood.

“My husband has been checking on our tires two times a day and he is working from home today, to make sure no one is stealing stuff,” says Sinha.

We called the Manchester PD looking for answers – the department didn’t have exact numbers but admits the thefts are on the rise.

“Individuals will take the opportunity to locate something like an apartment complex, that is close to a highway, they’ll go there with a vehicle that is large enough to take the rims and tires off the car, put it into the vehicle and drive away quickly,” says Lieutenant Ryan Shea.

Shea is encouraging folks to use security cameras, but when we showed him Torres’ video he explained why it does not always solve the crime. “This person is dressed in all black, they have a vehicle that is parked in the roadway where you can’t see the plate, and you can barely make out the make and model of the vehicle,” he says.

So far there have been no arrests. Lieutenant Shea says his team is regularly patrolling for the problem in Torres’ neighborhood and across town, but points out crook are not eager to get to work when they see police on patrol. “A lot of times it is under the cover of night, a lot of times there are no witnesses, and they are very fast with how they take these rims and tires."

FOX61 Chief Investigator Brian Foley shares tips on keeping your car safe.

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