Monterey County

Marina Police say there's not a safe way to protect your spare tires from getting stolen

Spare tires stolen in Marina

Tire thefts on the rise in Marina

Hundreds of tires in all different shapes and sizes: small, large, thin, thick, zig zag treads lining Marina Tires Store. The prices range anywhere from $50 dollars to $600. Tony Heren owner of Marina Tires says they're a hot item, and he's heard of them being stolen before, but the bad news is-there's not much you can do.

"You can't stop professionals who want to steal the tires," said Heren.

Unless the marina police catch you. Last night they caught Michael Lucas of Upland, California for allegedly stealing a tire off a truck in the Kohl's parking lot of Monterey Dunes Shopping Center. Marina police soon realized this may not have been his first rodeo.

"The man had several other tires in his truck. He has a history of vandalism and theft," said Commander Bob Nolan of Marina Police Department.

Commander Bob Nolan says in recent years they've seen thefts of spare tires increase.

"There is a market out there for these tires because they haven't been used and if you take enough tires you can have a set of tires," said Nolan.

Marina police are asking people to check to see if their spare tires are still there, because spare tires that are put underneath the car, are not visible. A missing tire from underneath the car could easily go unnoticed.

Commander Nolan showed some examples of spares that could be vulnerable to thieves, like underneath cars, or on the back of SUV's. He even has his own worries about his Toyota Rav 4, which has the tire located on the back with only a latch click away from someone stealing it. Toyota recently changed where the spare tire is on their newest model to improve visibility and safety.

"Spare tires are very difficult to protect. I would think the best advice to give someone is be vigilant," said Nolan.

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