Imagine waking up to your car sitting on cinder blocks in your driveway. It was the reality for Michael Tsanis, a Buffalo man who lives on Norwood Avenue in Elmwood. Thieves stole the wheel off of his Honda Fit either late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
"I'm just in shock that this happened. But I'm also surprised that it happened because it happened recently to other cars in this neighborhood so this seems like a cruel joke," Tsanis said.
He is the second person within a week to have tires and rims stolen off a Honda Fit. Tire experts said thieves are snatching these tires from Honda Fits to use the small wheels to turn other cars like Honda Civics into low-riders.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said these incidents are isolated and he is urging residents to buy locking lug nuts to prevent this from happening again.
"We are increasing patrols in the areas where it has occurred," Commissioner Derenda said. "Protect yourself by having locking lug nuts on your vehicle."
Orchard Park has one of the largest locking lug nuts manufactures in the country. Logan Howard works there and says this wheel stealing issue has been going on for decades, but it has recently increased. He said the lug nuts can make it difficult for anyone besides the person with the key to take the wheels off vehicles.
"They are round and extremely hard, so if someone puts some kind of vicegrips or their lug wrench on there it's going to be very difficult for them to grab on, if they can at all," Logan said.
The lugs start at $25. The Buffalo Police Commissioner said it's a good investment.