Someone is stealing spare tires off vehicles parked in downtown lots, but a Good Samaritan is making sure they don’t go without.
The thief hit two victims who work for the same company and was caught on tape by the company security cameras.
Video shows the man park a red truck in the lot near 8th and Elgin last Thursday morning, go up to a white Jeep and casually take out one lug nut at a time before taking off with the tire.
Two Jeeps were hit in the same parking lot on the same day. Jeeps are easy targets because the spare tire is already mounted on the back.
The Jeep in the video belongs to Hillary Stanart. She said she didn't realize her spare tire was missing until she got home from work that night.
“Ah, not happy about that," she said.
She's thankful she noticed before she had a flat and got in a real bind.
"Very upsetting he would come and take it off my vehicle, especially in broad daylight, at work, with people walking by. He was sneaky about it and no one realized what was going on," Stanart said.
She was pretty defeated when she learned it'd cost her hundreds of dollars to replace the spare, but, then she got some good news from Rick Franco of Sam’s Off Road.
"If I have a spare that'll work, especially if you hear it's a theft, I don't charge. Life's too short," he said.
Franco heard about Stanart's situation and gave her a spare for free. This isn't the first time he’s made the kind gesture; he actually keeps some on hand for this very purpose.
"I think in the last 12 months, we've given away five, six spares," he said.
Franco suggests people get locking lug nuts. He said for $50 you can protect the spare and all four other wheels because the locking lug nuts require a special tool to remove.
"It's time consuming. You can spend 15 minutes on one wheel. They'd rather spend 15 seconds and be gone," he said.
Stanart has them on her Jeep now and is grateful for the kindness of a stranger.
"I was really touched he would do that," she said.
If you recognize the man in the video you can call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.