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Queens Chronicle

Kew Gardens tire and rim thefts continue

Nearly two dozen reports so far in ’14

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Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:50 am, Thu Sep 4, 2014.

At least it isn’t the violent kind of crime spree.

An unknown number of suspects have been stealing a substantial amount of tires and rims from the cars of Kew Gardens residents over the last year, enough to require the 102nd Precinct to distribute fliers to drivers throughout the area.

According to police, there have been 23 grand larcenies just in Kew Gardens since Jan. 1, as many as the entire precinct in all of 2013.

The vehicles being targeted for the thefts include Nissan Maximas and Honda Accords, as well as Infinity and Acura models, but police are warning that owners of other vehicle brands should be aware of the spree.

Authorities say the crimes are occurring at night along side streets, where the thieves can steal tires or rims under the cover of darkness, instead of main thoroughfares like Queens Boulevard or Metropolitan Avenue.

Cars that have their wheels stolen are often left sitting on cinder blocks or other objects.

Uniformed and plainclothed patrols have been increased in the area, according to police.

The 102nd Precinct, which covers Kew Gardens, Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Ozone Park, declined to comment on the spree when contacted by the Chronicle.

Throughout the entire precinct, there have been 36 reported tire or rim thefts in 2014, a 56.5 percent increase from last year.

In addition to keeping vigilant when it comes to car break-ins, police are urging residents who are worried that their cars might be next to purchase multiple wheel lug nut locks to deter the suspects from stealing anything.

According to reports, there have been 16 similar cases of cars having their tires or rims stolen in Forest Hills and Rego Park this year, as well.

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