Traveling businessman returns to find truck without wheels or tires

Updated: 08/15/2014 7:47 PM | Created: 08/15/2014 7:42 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

ALBUQUERQUE -- A North Dakota businessman traveling through Albuquerque found his truck, which he usually leaves at the Holiday Inn near the airport while traveling, sitting on bricks without any wheels when he came back to town.

"It had been sitting in the Holiday Inn parking lot for about ten days," said John Van Dam, who says his work truck is usually fine while he is out of town.

But this time, the rims and tires were gone, and it won't be cheap to replace them.

"The estimate was approximately $2800 to replace the tires and rims," Van Dam said.

So instead of working, Van Dam spent the day at Galles Chevrolet waiting for new tires. The dealership put a set of temporary ones on in the meantime.

"About once a month we see something like this," said Ted Schlote of Galles Chevrolet. "People either steal them off our lots, or they take them off parking lots, the university, or hotels. It's real common."

"I have some people coming in on a plane this afternoon I'm supposed to pick up, and hopefully I'll still be able to pick them up. It's a challenge, but we'll make it work," Van Dam said.

The dealership's service manager says it's a good idea to install two sets of wheel locks to keep it from happening to you.

"It makes [the wheels] harder to get off; one's not even enough," Schlote said.

The dealership says it can take an experience thief only 10-15 minutes to steel your tires.

Albuquerque police told KOB they didn't have numbers for how often this happens in the city.

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