STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A recent spate of tire thefts on Staten Island, in which vehicles have been left sitting on cinderblocks — or, in one case, a flower pot — has conjured up memories of 1980s New York City.
But the crime has evolved in the last 30 years, with crooks making more money by selling pricey rims, and victims getting stuck with bills in access of $1,000 to repair damage and replace the tires.
DUMPED BY THE WATER
Back in May, police recovered two stolen cars near Holland Avenue in Mariners Harbor, according to a police source. The tires, rims and other parts were removed from the vehicle, the source said.
A short distance away, on a two-mile stretch of Richmond Terrace from Holland to Morningstar Road, a half-dozen businesses advertise buying and selling auto parts for cash.
A man at one of the businesses — which consisted of a dirt lot and a shipping container full of tires — said he would pay $150 cash for four tires from a 2009 Honda Accord.
Just the tires.
The price for newer tires and rims on a higher-end vehicle could be astronomical, said Nick Tsatsaronis, owner of Hylan Auto Repair in New Dorp.
And replacing them costs even more.
Four tires and aluminum rims on a BMW X5, for example, would cost $1,000 each to replace, Tsatsaronis said. By comparison, four tires and rims for a slightly used Honda Accord would run about $450 per tire and rim, he said.
Over the course of a year, Tsatsaronis said his shop has handled about 20 cases where vehicles have been stripped of their tires and rims, though most of them were towed from Brooklyn.
TIP TO AVOID FALLING VICTIM
In the three Island incidents, the cost for replacing parts and repairing damages ranged from $800 to $4,000.
Two of the cars targeted were 2017 Honda Accords. (The Accord is the most popularly used vehicle in the U.S., according to Motor Trend Magazine.)
It is unknown at this point if the incidents are being investigated as a pattern, but police said…