Thieves stole 49 wheels and tires off of 19 different vehicles at Patriot GMC/Hyundai. The theft happened some time between Saturday night and Sunday morning.


"We've got insurance, but we're still going to have some loss," said Steve Viles, general manager.

Viles said the thieves took 20-inch tires and wheels, including 11 sets of chrome wheels that are highly sought-after. He said a friend of one of the salesmen discovered the theft Sunday morning when he drove to the lot to look at new trucks.

The thieves targeted 18 GMC trucks and one Yukon SUV. Viles said the thieves knew what they were after and were experts, because they didn't leave any scratches or dents even though most of the vehicles were parked close together. 

"I don't think it was any local yokels who decided they wanted some wheels and tires," he said.

Bartlesville Police Chief Holland agreed, noting that the thieves must have had a large truck or trailer in order to carry in the heavy cinder blocks and then carry out the much bulkier wheels and tires. 

"I'm just guessing, but they probably already had a market for them," said Chief Holland.

The wheels and tires are valued at more than $40,000. Viles thinks the thieves ran out of blocks. He said the Yukon was left sitting on a couple of railroad ties taken from behind the dealership. "If they had had more blocks," Viles said, "they probably would have stolen more wheels."

He said the dealership will investigate ways to increase security, including adding more lights, but he doesn't hold out much hope that the thieves will be caught. There is no surveillance video of the theft. 

If you know anything about the theft you can call Crime Stoppers at 918-336-CLUE.