Man sees his stolen rims for sale in Craigslist ad, calls police
LAUREL, Md. (WJLA) - James Ingram's Dodge Charger is his pride and joy.
When he saw what thieves had done to it - in his own driveway - he was devastated.
The wheels and rims were stolen from the car, leaving metal against concrete, and his car undriveable.
"I was crushed," he told ABC7. "I was like, why would someone do that to my car? I worked so hard for it."
Ingram decided to do anything he could - so he started by hunting for his stolen rims on Craigslist.
There are a lot of ads for rims on Craigslist - but, sure enough, he found his.
"So I clicked it - and I was like, wow these are my wheels!" he said. "So I called the police."
And the police responded. According to the head of Prince George's County's head of the auto unit, theft of high-end wheels is on the upswing - and it's nearly impossible to catch the thieves in the act.
"The bad guys come. Usually in residential areas, they come at night," Lt. Matt Meterko told ABC7. "I think within 30 seconds they can steal a full set of rims."
In Ingram's case, police called the number on the Craigslist ad and set up a meeting.
At the scheduled time and place, police say a man named Levar Petty rolled in. Ingram's rims were in his back seat, and in his trunk were the tools of a wheel-stealer's trade - a jack and a lug wrench, as well as all of Ingram's lug nuts.
Petty is now charged with theft, and police say others with a similar plan should take note.
"If youre going to sell them online, that could be the police that's contacting you," warned Lt. Meterko.
As for Ingram's car, it's got a new dent, and it's still sitting in his driveway while his wheels sit in a police evidence bay - and Ingram said he has no sympathy for the man who openly advertised his alleged crime.
"I was surprised, but he slipped up, so that's what happens," Ingram said.