There are new details in the lucrative crime of tire rim theft and the trouble it causes when they are stolen from your car in the middle of the night. Thieves are targeting the shiny, eye catching, and expensive rims worth thousands of dollars in hopes of re-selling them on the black market.
In April, D.C. Police arrested Reginald Brown. A Prince George’s County man they suspected of stealing expensive rims and had under surveillance.
From a distance police had an eye on brown and his crew of four.
Their first job the night of April 3rd was on Ridge Place Southeast where D.C. Police say Reginald Tyrone Brown and three others drove into the 2000 block of Ridge Place Southeast and stole a 2007 Cadillac Escalade for its rims--leaving the car on cinder blocks about a half mile away.
The owner, Joicelyn Huff, a retired police officer visiting from South Carolina, couldn't believe it when she woke up the next morning and the car wasn't there.
"We called OnStar because I do have OnStar and they did have a location of the car but they wouldn't tell me until they knew the police was with me", said Huff.
What Joicelyn Huff didn't know is police had already found the car, up on blocks in the 1700 block of Fairlawn Avenue Southeast.
“Well I was hurt”, said huff, “I was hurt because I take good care of my car, there was soda spilled inside, there was damage to the front, the side, there was broken glass inside, I was hurt".
Little did Reginald Brown know it, but police had him under surveillance and knew he and his crew were going to multiple locations in hopes of stealing rims.
Putting cars on blocks on Blaine Street Northeast as well as an alley behind a house on Minnesota Avenue.
After they stole Ms. Huff's Escalade from Ridge Place Southeast and a Cadillac STS from Blaine Street, according to a court affidavit, the crew went to an abandoned house on Meade Street where police say they hid the rims and tires inside the basement".
Police say eye catching rims are increasingly becoming the target of thieves who can take them in minutes and turn big profits.
For example, the factory rims on Joicelyn Huff's Escalade, according to police, are worth $5,775.
It’s lucrative work for thieves and nothing but trouble for the people who own them.
“I don't have a total because the car is still in the shop but the last time I talked with the shop here it was up to six, seven thousand dollars".
And that's the second time it’s been in for repairs. Joicelyn Huff says she first had work done on the car in the District and it needed more work when she finally got it home.
The retired police officer says if she has to testify she will be coming back to the District, driving the same car.
But she is angry and wants to see Reginald Brown, if convicted, get jail some time.
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