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Houston Police Using Bait Rims to Catch Thieves

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Uploaded on Mar 4, 2011

HOUSTON - "It's a car show lifestyle, it's a culture."

"In Houston, it's like a drug you know."

Some call them dubs while others refer to them as rims. Samuel Gonzalez calls it a lifestyle.

"I've been on rims since they were 17s all the way to 26s as you can see now," he said.

Rolling on rims is a past time that's not going away any time soon, but sporting the shiny chrome can come with a cost. Thieves are willing to do anything to get a set.

"My brother got carjacked at gunpoint, pistol whipped, left in the ditch for a pair of rims," Gonzalez said.

And yet Gonzalez goes out and buys the biggest pair he can find on the market. His rims cost just under $4,000.

But he has some extra protection for his rims' protection. He carries a .45-caliber pistol.

"This is the vehicle I pretty much I love so much that it gets to be like this you have to carry this around. Would you shoot somebody over your rims? I have to play by the law. If I have to I will."

Some are willing to go that far to protect the chrome on their car and that's why the Houston Police Department is actively going after rim thieves.

The HPD Auto Theft Division arrested Luciano and Magdaleno Barron for theft of rims and tires.

Investigators said they bit on the bait, but they're not the only ones according to numbers obtained by FOX 26 News.

Over the last 2 years, there have been more than 3,000 rims stolen from cars in our city. Sergeant T.J. Salazar said that's why the department has set up bait rims: Wheels left in the open and those who bit are arrested for theft.

Philipe Uriarte, owner QTS Rim shop, said the best way someone can protect their very expensive chrome is simple insurance.

"Your insurance might go up 10 bucks a month, but it's worth it. Let them know that they're on your car," he said.

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