Recent String of Tire Thefts Worrying Manteca Residents

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY -- Reports of stolen tires and rims along with damaged cars have been coming up a lot lately in Manteca.

In a video shared with FOX40, several patrol cars light up the midnight sky in a suburban San Joaquin County neighborhood as officers chase suspected thieves in a U-Haul truck Tuesday.

The group rounds a corner and evidence falls out, including a Toyota Camry's wheel, tire and concrete block.

They were similar looking blocks to what Maribel Mendoza says she found back in November on her 2019 Camry. She had proudly purchased the car less than 24 hours before it had been vandalized.

"It just makes me angry. It’s right outside your home, my lights were on, so it was well-lit during the night," Mendoza said.

Mendoza was one of many Manteca families who told FOX40 the frustration they felt when they saw their new cars without tires and rims, resting on bricks.

"I’m worried they’re going to come for my other cars or something’s going to happen," Mendoza said.

In another part of the city, the owner of another Camry told FOX40 she was shocked when she woke up to her car vandalized last Thursday.

However, recent arrests have left families hopeful.

"You always want to think, like, I hope, you know, they’re the guys," Mendoza said.

Investigators say the group that tried to escape did not get far. The Tracy Police Department reports four of the teen suspects, who were all from Stockton, were put behind bars.

Investigators added they are working to find out if the thefts in Manteca are related.

"It worries me that as soon as it starts getting dark, it’s like I have to get the car home or I have to pull the car in the garage," Mendoza said.

The police department reports the teen suspects face grand theft, vandalism and conspiracy charges.

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