Police: Wheel thefts on the rise in Riverdale

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RIVERDALE -

Thieves are increasingly stealing wheels and other car parts in Riverdale, police say.

Most recently, crooks took the wheels off a four-door Honda on Riverdale Avenue early Sunday, neighbors say.

And a week before Thanksgiving, thieves stole a woman's car that was parked on Netherland Avenue. Police say they recovered it a day later -- covered in graffiti with a broken taillight. The wheels had also been stolen and replaced with a different set. Two teens were arrested.

Police from the 50th Precinct say they have responded to the spike by increasing patrols with marked and unmarked vehicles, leading to more than 40 arrests.

The NYPD is offering tips for protecting vehicles from theft in general. They include activating the vehicle's alarm, never leaving keys in the ignition, never leaving property in the car and parking in busy, well-lit areas.

Drivers can also use tire or lug nut locks, install tracking systems in their cars and turn their wheels at an angle when parking.

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