Since July 29, at least 14 incident reports have been filed with the Houston Police Department for auto theft of tires and rims with the cars being left on blocks in residents’ driveways between the 2400 block of Lazybrook and the 1600 block of East T.C. Jester Blvd., and they are growing extremely concerned.
“Within seven minutes they were able to take all four of my tires and my rims and leave my car just on blocks in my driveway, despite the fact that I had the wheel lock [stowed away],” said one neighbor (who wished to remain anonymous) who woke up for work around 7 a.m. before discovering the shocking damage.
Upon posting on NextDoor, the neighbor was shocked to find such a concentration of incidents within a condensed area.
“There were at least three or four that we heard of just Monday night alone, and after that more and more people just started reaching out after that,” he said. “I had never seen anything like this. You hear about one or two here and there, but not 3-6 in one night. I’ve talked to neighbors who have lived here [between 20-30 years], and they’ve never seen anything like this in decades.”
According to the neighbor, the perpetrators made their initial pass around 1:15 a.m. in red and silver/white sedans, seemingly scoping out the area, before returning shortly before 2 a.m. and doing the deed armed with a lookout car 40-50 yards away.
“They pulled into the end of the [dead end] street, turned around and parked right in front of my house. They knew just what they were doing,” he said, adding that despite being not far from his front door where the thieves were making their score, he slept through the entire ordeal.
“Typically, if we hear a noise, the dog will bark, and I normally go check the door for our peace of mind. I honestly don’t know whether I would’ve stayed back and called the police or gone after them [if I’d seen them],” he said.
Most unnerving to this neighbor and others he has been in contact with, however, is how nonchalant the robbers have been despite the magnitude of the job they are pulling and the exposure in this particular instance.
“They weren’t in any kind of hurry at all and didn’t seem to care,” he said. “My house has the front porch light on, the garage light on, and I’m no more than 25 yards from a street light—so in no way was it dark. I have no idea what to think.”
Though security cameras have caught glimpses of the vehicle and brief snapshot of one of the thieves, the neighbor said HPD has told him and others that without a license plate (which they have yet to catch), there is not much they can do.
Beyond the return of his parts, the neighbor is more afraid of what might happen if someone actually does catch the perpetrators in the act.
“Given how nonchalant they were, it wouldn’t surprise me if they had some sort of weapon, and it could escalate very quickly,” he said.