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Thieves targeting tires and wheels in pawn shops | Crime

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Thieves targeting tires and wheels in pawn shops
Crime, News
Thieves targeting tires and wheels in pawn shops

PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - Pawn shops are having a difficult time slowing down thieves. On Monday night, Goodride Auto Care in North Little Rock had more than $25,000 worth of goods stolen, and Arch Street Pawn Shop in Pulaski County says they've been experiencing robbers as well.

"Me and my brother have been switching off staking out up here," said shop owner Brett Carter.

In the last 12 days, the shop has been robbed four times, losing goods to thieves that have tried pawning the tires off to other shops as used goods.

"It's so hard to tell if they're stolen or not," Carter continued, referring to the tires. "[Thieves] are stealing wheels and tires because they know there's no [serial] numbers on them, so there's no way you can say they're yours unless you have absolute proof, which is so hard to find."

Many owners don't mark their tires with serial numbers or other markers that can identify where a tire originated from. Carter's store has done it, and has more than 40,000 entries in its system, so if an item does get stolen they know which one. It allowed investigators to locate Carter's tires that were stolen earlier this week and arrest two men.

But many times consumers aren't as lucky because if they buy a stolen product, that item can be confiscated by investigators and returned to its rightful owner.

"The people [that buy from these shops] have no clue they're buying stolen merchandise of any kind," said Pulaski County investigator Jordan Abel.

Abel has been assigned to several pawn robberies where stolen tires have been sold to consumers and then recovered by detectives.

"When you have to seize that property they're going to be out the cost of the tires," Abel continued.

It's made for an unfortunate situation that continues to make its way throughout the region, and one that Carter offers advice to avoid.

"There's still more stuff out there and there's so many more thieves out there," Carter finished. "[So] if you buy any wheels and tires off the streets make sure you get their I.D."

Crime, News