A brazen wheel thief has struck a Nelson car yard, leaving a $21,000 four-wheel-drive vehicle high and dry on wooden blocks, and worth considerably less than the asking price.
"It's pretty cheeky," said Car Company sales manager Chris McQuade.
"They were quite nice wheels, but without them the vehicle's not worth a lot."
The wheels and tyres of the 1992 Toyota Landcruiser in the company's Totally Used Toyota lot on Vanguard St were snaffled some time overnight on Wednesday.
Staff arrived at work early yesterday to find the vehicle up on blocks.
Mr McQuade said a wheel and tyre of the type on the Landcruiser was worth about $500 each.
"The type of alloy wheel doesn't fit too many vehicles, and they were specific to that model. We have photos of the vehicle with its wheels so we know what they look like," he said.
Mr McQuade would be searching online sites to check they had not been put up for sale, and to try and find a replacement set for the stripped Landcruiser.
The theft would be covered by insurance, but dealing with it was "just annoying".
"We'll have to source new wheels and tyres and second-hand ones could be a bit of a struggle."
It was the third set of wheels stolen from the yard in the last five or six years. The company was looking into security cameras, Mr McQuade said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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