Car ownership has its ups and downs and of all the things you can have happen, walking outside to find the wheels of your car missing is one of the most frustrating. This year, this has become an increasingly common scenario for San Diego residents.

The San Diego Police Department says that since January this year, it has been told of roughly 25 cases of wheels and tires being removed from vehicles overnight. These thefts happened in areas including San Diego itself, Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Escondido. Thieves appear particularly fond of Toyota models.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that most cases involve Toyota 4Runner and Toyota TRD Pro trucks, including the Tacoma and Tundra. This is probably because they have pricey wheels and off-roading tires, making them a temptation too hard to ignore for some thieves. Police say the thefts are happening on the street and in parking lots.

[embedded content]

Having wheels and tires stolen from your car may not be as infuriating as having your car stolen, it is still a pain. Last year, thieves nicked one of the rear wheels of my dad’s Land Rover Discovery Sport which was parked on the street overnight. Police came to the scene to grab some fingerprints but nothing eventuated and he filed a claim through his insurance provider for a new wheel. Doing so cost hundreds of dollars and forced him to wait several weeks for a new wheel.

Read: Thieves Steal Wheels Off Rare Acura NSX Type S At San Francisco Airport

Car owners can follow a few tips to help protect their wheels. One option is to buy a set of lock nuts or lock bolts that are compatible with your vehicle. Another option is to park your vehicle on streets with lots of traffic and pedestrians. It is also a good idea to park in a well-lit area if possible.

[embedded content]

Lead image via Fox5 News