Exclusive: Bay Area thieves prey on those sheltering-at-home by stealing tires amid COVID-19 pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's bad enough many of us are stuck at home, but now thieves are targeting some of us while we're inside. Several drivers reached out to ABC7 News to say they recently found their cars on blocks and missing tires. It's a story you'll see only on ABC7 News.

"Everybody is home right now all the cars are parked in front of everybody's house so in a sense it's kinda like easy pickings for them right cause everyone is comfortable in their house," says Patrick Mark who lives in San Bruno

Patrick Mark's Ring surveillance caught the moment the thieves started taking tires off of his neighbor's car. The problem is pretty widespread according to those at Toyota in San Francisco

RELATED: San Bruno police urge residents to lock up their vehicles after spike in thefts

"The last couple weeks we just been seeing a lot of it lately," says Tony Wong. They say thieves are going after the newer model Toyota tires that are 19 inches and often equipped with nightshade wheels. Not always Toyota though. Jerry Jeravata has a Mercedes and lives in the SOMA District of San Francisco. All 4 of his tires were recently stolen.

"My car didn't have any tires or wheels on it at all. It was just on crates. One crate on one side and a piece of wood on the other side."

Now there's a hope from some that this is not a new trend.

"Maybe he needed those rims for his own car? I hope it's not coming to that where they are stealing rims to make money cause that's bad if it's getting that bad right now."

The car owners we talked with say that their insurance is covering the stolen tires. Replacing one Toyota tire is going for around a $1,000. Because of the damage done towing the Mercedes the insurance company had to put up $12,000.

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