A new gang of thieves targeting only car tyres is giving sleepless nights to car owners in Ghaziabad.
In two separate incidents in the past few days, thieves escaped with the tyres of new vehicles in Shalimar Garden and Vaishali, police said.
In Vaishali Sector 6, the thieves made off with the tyres and rims of a brand new Mahindra KUV belonging to software engineer Rakesh Kumar.
The car owner has lodged an FIR at Indirapuram police station but his car continues to stay on bricks as the new set of tyres will cost him around Rs50,000 to Rs55,000, not to mention a waiting period of 15 days.
“The agency has given me an estimate and said it would take 15 days to provide me new tyres. The car is still on bricks. The thieves came in a vehicle, there were tyre marks of a different vehicle near my car parked outside my house. They also brought along bricks and placed them under the car before fleeing,” Kumar said.
“It seems that the thieves unbolted the tyres with some machine as the bolts were found nearby with a specific marking, probably made by the machine,” he said.
Kumar said the incident came to light around 2.30am on May 7 when his neighbours returned from a movie and spotted his car without tyres.
“I purchased the car on April 29 and have hardly driven it. Now, with the tyres gone, I am unable to use it. My brother was awake till 1.45am and the vehicle was safe till then. It seems the thieves took away the tyres 25-30 minutes thereafter,” he said.
It is not Kumar’s car alone which was left without tyres. In an incident on late May 6, a brand new Honda City car in Shalimar Garden also met the same fate. All four tyres were stolen and the vehicle left on bricks.
The police suspect that it could be a single gang behind both incidents. “We held a meeting of police officers and also the crime branch and have asked them to trace the gang. The two incidents have occurred recently and we suspect that the gang is still operating. We will track them soon,” said Akash Tomar, superintendent of police (city).
According to police records, vehicle thefts in Ghaziabad have averaged more than 2,500 cases per year during the last three years from 2014 to 2016.
A total of 2,585, 2,663 and 2,536 cases related to vehicle thefts were registered in Ghaziabad in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.