Stolen wheels too hot to handle

Thieves dump loot after car yard heist

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 08:21 15/01/2014
stolen wheels
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
ROLLING BACK: The Toyota Landcruiser with the wheels that were returned to a Nelson car yard after being stolen last week.

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A hot set of wheels turned out too hot for the thief or thieves that took them last week from a vehicle in a Nelson car yard.

The wheels and tyres from a 1992 Toyota Landcruiser, reported stolen from the Car Company's Totally Used Toyota lot on Vanguard St, were found dumped in an area of the Maitai Valley, business owner Shane Drummond said yesterday.

"We got a call on Saturday night from a lady who found them up the Maitai.

"I reckon it was the media exposure that got whoever took them scared, and they dumped them," Mr Drummond said.

The theft last week left the $21,000 four-wheel-drive vehicle high and dry on wooden blocks. Each wheel and tyre was worth about $500, the company's sales manager Chris McQuade said.

He said the type of alloy wheel did not fit too many vehicles, and they were specific to that model. They also had photos of the vehicle with its wheels, therefore knew what they looked like.

Mr McQuade said last week he planned to search online sites to check they had not been put up for sale, and to try and find a replacement set for the stripped Landcruiser.

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.

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