SUV owners, beware.
Amherst and Town of Tonawanda police have seen a recent spike in the number of spare tires being stolen off the backs of sport utility vehicles.
Last month, a dozen such larcenies were reported to Amherst police, said Capt. Timothy Green. The Amherst thefts took place between Dec. 9 and Dec. 22 on residential streets off the Main Street corridor, Green said. The incidents all took place late at night or early in the morning.
Green said the thieves seem to be targeting Honda CRVs and Jeep Liberties.
Town of Tonawanda Assistant Chief David Nowicki said his town also has experienced "numerous" spare tire thefts, along with other larcenies from unlocked cars.
"They've been occurring in our Lincoln Park area and around Kenmore Avenue, all the way down to Colvin Avenue," Nowicki said. "There's a lot of action going on around the Town of Tonawanda."
The culprits are able to easily take the spare tires by removing the lug nuts that hold them in place on the outside of the vehicles.
Green suggested that SUV owners worried about having their spare tire stolen look into purchasing key-operated lug nut locks -- popular with owners of cars with fancy rims. The locks can be purchased at auto part stores.