Wheel Theft on the Rise: Why You Need Cartrack | Cartrack Namibia
Wheel Theft on the Rise Why You Need Cartrack

Wheel Theft on the Rise: Why You Need Cartrack

Your wheels keep you moving. So imagine the surprise of seeing your vehicle suddenly propped up on bricks with no wheels in sight.

Criminals have turned wheel theft into a booming market, leaving motorists to pay the price.

Let’s get right into it and discuss how to protect your wheels and uncover how Cartrack is your secret weapon for the best vehicle and wheel safety.

In this article, you will:

  • Find out how common wheel theft is
  • Learn why it’s on the rise and where you need to be on high alert
  • Debunk some common tyre misconceptions
  • Unpack how you can prevent wheel theft
  • Discover how Cartrack’s solutions improve vehicle safety and keep your wheels safe

How common is wheel theft?

Unlike vehicle theft, wheel theft isn’t really being looked at through a magnifying glass. This means we don’t have any recent numbers on how frequently it happens. However, the number and worth of stolen wheels being recovered should help us paint a picture of how bad the reality of wheel theft is. Let’s take a look at these numbers.

Which tyres are the most stolen?

While all tyres are in demand, three types truly stand out. These are:

  • Bakkie tyres: 

    In August 2022, police seized 410 stolen bakkie tyres. These tyres were valued at three million rands and were stolen just a month before. You read right, 410 bakkie tyres were stolen in a single month. That means 102 bakkies were completely stripped of their wheels.

  • SUV tyres: 

    In October 2023, police officers recovered a hijacked truck. While Robin Hood would be proud of this save, the real prize here was the stolen tyres that appeared to be SUV tyres. These tyres were valued at an estimated R700,000.

  • Truck tyres: 

    In June 2022, police officers seized stolen truck tyres valued at an estimated R1.5 million at a storage facility in Cape Town. These tyres were linked to truck-jacking cases.

Some crazy numbers, right? But why are we faced with these numbers that appear to still be on the rise? Let’s find out why vehicle theft is a massive problem.

Why is wheel theft on the rise?

Wheel theft has been going on for years, but some areas are seeing rapid spikes in these cases. There are multiple things that triggered this rise, and we’re breaking them down for you:

  1. They’re easy to steal: 

    Wheels, tyres, and rims are easier to steal than an entire vehicle. Changing a tyre takes about 15-30 minutes, but if you’re an old hand at it, it can take a mere 10 minutes. Now, if you’re just removing the tyre and not replacing it, that time is even lower. This makes stealing wheels look like an easy job, and the moment crooks have this idea in mind, they dive right in.

  2. They are in high demand because of their price tag: 

    Petrol prices are on the rise, grocery trolleys are becoming emptier, and tyres are expensive. It’s normal to jump at a discounted deal, but if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. While some know exactly what they’re signing up for, most people don’t know that they could be buying stolen tyres.

  3. They’re difficult to track: 

    Unfortunately, wheel theft is a low-risk yet high-reward crime. Sure, tyres have serial numbers, but they are still very difficult to trace and get back to their rightful owner. Thieves understand this, and since they can quickly get the stolen bounty off of their hands, they see it as the perfect crime to commit.

So there you have it. Just like most crimes,vehicle theft is all about how easy it is and the returns. This also means, like any other crime, there are hotspots you need to be extra careful of. Let’s find out what these are.

Why is wheel theft on the rise

Which areas should you avoid to keep your wheels safe?

While thieves can steal your wheels just about anywhere, some areas have experienced a sudden increase in cases. These include:

  • Fairlands
  • Northriding
  • Florida
  • Randpark Ridge
  • Weltevredenpark
  • Honeydew

To keep your wheels safe, regardless of where you are, you need to be extra cautious in and around these areas. But what can you do to keep them safe, regardless of where you are? We’re about to get into that, but before we do, let’s lighten the mood a little by debunking some common tyre misconceptions.

Debunking common tyre misconceptions

Enough of the heaviness; now it’s time to lighten the mood a bit. How much do you know about tyres? What about those facts you think are true but aren’t? We’re about to unpack and debunk them for you. Tyre Misconceptions 101 is officially in session.

  • Misconception 1: Imported tyres are better 

    It’s easy to think that imported goods are high-quality goods. And with imported tyres being cheaper, it’s not surprising that consumers want them so badly. But considering how your Shein pants look after 3 washes, you might want to rethink this decision. Going for these tyres is something we’re actively being warned against. Imported tyres are not built for Mzansi’s roads or weather conditions, so you’ll need to replace them sooner than expected. It is estimated that locally-made tyres can carry you 15,000 to 20,000km further than imported ones.

  • Misconception 2: Every tyre is exactly the same

    All tyres may look the same, but they’re not. It’s like shopping for foundation. Every shade might look the same, but ladies understand that they are all different. Let’s run through a few of the different tyres that are available:

    • All-season tyres: Like a man’s 3-in-1 shampoo, face, and body wash, they’re ideal for all weather conditions.
    • High-performance tyres: These tyres improve the driving experience by improving traction, grip, and speed performance.
    • Summer tyres: These are built with harder materials to improve traction and control in hot, dry conditions
    • Winter tyres: These use flexible rubber to improve grip on wet roads
    • Run flat tyres: These tyres help you continue driving after a puncture, safely getting you somewhere you can change your tyre.
  • Misconception 3: New tyres should always go to the front 

    You use your front tyres to steer and brake, so they will wear out faster than your rear tyres. It only makes sense that you’d place the new tyres in front, right? But this is not advised. If you place new tyres in front and keep the worn ones in the back, your tyres are at risk of hydroplaning, which is skidding on the wet surface. This happens when your tyres are worn and water causes them to lose contact with the road, leading to potentially fatal accidents.

Now that we’ve sifted the truth from the false, we’re ready to give you the expert tips you trust us for to keep your wheels safe and rolling in familiar territory. Jump right in, because it’s about to be an interesting ride.

How can you prevent wheel theft?

Whether you’re a student who just got their first car or a home executive who knows their way around South African roads, we can all learn a thing or two about keeping our wheels safe. Cartrack has your back because we’re bringing you the top four tips for keeping your wheels out of the wrong hands.

  1. Park in closed garages when possible: 

    We all know that a locked garage is safer for your vehicles, and this is the best way to keep your wheels safe. If possible, always park in closed and secure parking spaces that are well-lit, as this gives your vehicle an extra level of security. Also, secure parking spaces usually use CCTV cameras, which crooks aren’t fans of. This works to your benefit since they don’t want to be caught getting up to mischief in 4K.

  2. Consider purchasing wheel lock nuts: 

    A lock nut is used to secure your wheels to your vehicle. Wheel lock nuts look just like regular lock nuts but have a different purpose. They have anti-theft sockets, which can only be removed with a wheel lock key. Wheel lock keys are special sockets that match the unique pattern on the wheel lock. Using these nuts gives your wheels an extra layer of protection. They may be more expensive, but what’s a few extra rands for the safety of your wheels?

  3. Turn your wheels when you park: 

    Making your wheels after parking your vehicle seems obvious, but this puts them at a higher risk of getting stolen. Your best bet is to turn your wheels at a 45-degree angle, as this makes it more difficult for a thief to remove them. Criminals love an easy job, and the extra admin can make them lose interest in your tyres faster than you lost interest in your last Tinder match.

  4. Park closer to the curb: 

    If you’re one of the lucky few who graduated from parallel parking school with a master’s degree, put those skills to use and get as close to the curb as possible. The closer you are to the curb, the more difficult it is for a thief to get their jack under your vehicle to lift it and remove the wheels.Sure, this doesn’t protect the wheels that are exposed to the street, but you’ll find comfort in knowing that if thieves can’t get all your wheels, they’ll probably try to find another target. Also, turn your steering wheel toward the curb, because this makes the wheels harder to remove.

They seem pretty simple, but these small moves can bring big wins for the safety of your wheels. But these tips are ideal for everyday motorists, so what if you run a business? Don’t worry because, unlike load shedding, we won’t leave you in the dark. Let’s get into how business owners can keep their wheels safe.

How can you prevent wheel theft

What if you’re running a business?

If you run a business, you probably use trucks for your daily operations. And as we’ve seen, truck tyres are in high demand for theft, so your fleet is also a possible target. So what can you do to keep your fleet’s tyres safe? On top of using the solutions we listed for typical vehicle owners, you should equip your vehicles with load sensors.

Load sensors help you keep track of the load being carried by your vehicle at all times. By detecting increases or decreases in axle load, these sensors can help you pick up when your truck is being lifted against an angle. This can tell you that your wheels are being stolen, giving you the heads up to quickly go and see what’s going on and pressing pause on the criminal’s plans.

These all sound like incredible solutions, but if you really want to take your wheel’s safety to the next level, you need to make vehicle safety a big priority. And the solution is right under your nose: It’s Cartrack.

Protect the vehicle that carries your wheels with Cartrack Namibia

The core of keeping your wheels safe is keeping your vehicle safe. When it comes to the best vehicle safety, Cartrack is kilometres away from the rest, bringing you world-class solutions that are tailored to your budget. Let’s get into them:

  • GPS Tracking: 

    Welcome to the stage, the star of Cartrack’s show: real-time GPS trackingOur technology uses GPS technology to help you know exactly where your vehicle is at all times. And the best part is that you can see this information by simply tapping your cell phone screen. This helps you ensure that your vehicle stays safe and secure. In the unfortunate event that thieves get their hands on your vehicle, we use this technology to track your vehicle and hopefully recover it as quickly as possible. This is how we achieve our above 90% stolen vehicle recovery rate.

  • CarWatch 

    Car guards are very helpful, but let’s face it, the reality is that they can’t keep an eye on all their vehicles at once? This is why you need CarWatch, your vehicle’s personal, virtual car guardAvailable on the Cartrack app, this feature gives you early detection of all unauthorised movements from your vehicle (like your ignition being turned on, or your vehicle moving without being turned on). When these are detected, an instant alert is sent to our 24-hour control room. We will then contact you to find out if your vehicle is being stolen and if our recovery team needs to be dispatched.

  • Protector 

    Amp up your vehicle and personal safety with Cartrack’s Protector feature. Protector is your 24/7 guardian angel, always there for you when you’re stranded or feeling unsafe. Whether you need towing, emergency ambulance, legal, roadside, or medical assistance, this feature brings it straight to you in no time. All you need to do is tap a button on your mobile app to unlock a world of convenience and safety.

Keep your wheels rolling with Cartrack’s variety of solutions

Your wheels carry you around, so they, along with your vehicle, deserve the best form of safety.

Contact us today and give your vehicle the best safety money can buy.