Thieves stealing spare tires in Arapahoe County

Thieves targeting Dodge Ram pickups

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - Check under your truck -- That is the warning from people in Arapahoe County after a rash of spare tire thefts in recent months, specifically targeting Dodge Ram pickups.

“My pearl of wisdom is: check your tire, and if it’s there, put a lock on it,” said Jackson Engelbrecht, who didn’t notice his spare had been stolen until he had a flat tire. “And I looked under the road and sure enough, it was gone.”

A few houses down, Chris Padilla discovered his spare was missing when he went to get his tires rotated.

“There are three other trucks on my block alone that have been hit,” said Padilla.

Arapahoe County sheriff’s investigators said they believe there are likely many more than the 15 cases reported in the last few months, because some people may not have noticed their spare is missing.

“The tires are underneath the trucks,” said Arapahoe County Sheriff's Chief Vince Line. “They’re going underneath the truck and cutting the mechanism that supports the spare tire.”

Line said his office has assigned an investigator to the case, and they're pursuing some strong leads.

Meanwhile, Engelbrecht said he is backing his truck into his driveway these days, and put a lock on his spare to make it more difficult to steal.

“You want a balance. You don’t want them to destroy your truck trying to take it again, but you don’t want to be an easy target,” said Engelbrecht.