Cases of wheel theft in India is not new. Many might be aware of wheel thefts in India, if not have had experienced them sometime in their lives, especially when one is forced to park their vehicles on the roadside overnight, every night with no security. However, in the recent past as vehicles begin to come with expensive and attractive alloy wheels, replacing them is now becoming a little heavy on the wallets of people who drive them. The Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos are two of the most popular SUVs in the Indian market with decently sized alloy wheels being offered.
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These new diamond cut, black contrast touched large expensive wheels with tyre pressure monitors are the latest targets for thieves in India. Cases of alloy wheel thefts for Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos models in particular have seen a steep rise recently with multiple cases being reported. Without proper security CCTV cameras and vigilant policing, it is almost impossible to trace where these wheels may end up. They are easily accessible, easy to remove, and the money that can be made from them is very good in the black market.
However, there are many solutions that may help negate some of the anxiety of having your wheels robbed. Some methods are passive, while some can actually be fitted to the vehicles to deter such heinous crimes.
The most cost-effective method, but not full proof is parking your car with your wheels turned. It doesn’t cost anything and this may prevent at least your front wheels from being stolen, but the rear wheels may still be vulnerable. Parking your car close to a high curb/footpath/divider may protect one side of the vehicle, but again leaves room for the other side exposed. Parking in a highly-populated area is something most people recommend, but there is still no guarantee your vehicle is entirely safe.
A motion detecting car alarm is a good line of defence. Invest in a good system and if someone tries to lift your vehicle to remove the wheels, it would sound an alarm. Pair that with a dashcam, you could even catch a glimpse of their face or appearance which may help you nab them in case they are successful in their operation.
But if you want to go a step further and not even allow these horrible thieves to even consider your car, then you can get lug nut locks or even wheel boots. The lug nut locks and wheel boots can only be removed with a special key that comes with the device. You can buy lock kits for all of the lug nuts on your wheels. Just don’t lose the key, as you will need it should you require to change your tyres or repair a puncture. The Wheel Boot on the other hand maybe a little more expensive and would require you to put them on and off every time you park the vehicle in your spot and it may take up to 20 minutes to install and remove them. This can be an added task for your everyday routine, but lug nut locks and wheel boots would be the most effective of the bunch. Wheel Boots, however, would be the most effective if you plan to leave your vehicle for a long period of time when you’re away.
Update: More such cases have also come up with high-spec models of Kia Seltos and Sonet models having had their alloy wheels being stolen when parked overnight. Most of these cases are being reported in the Kalkaji area of New Delhi.
More images of Kia Sonet and Seltos SUVs with their wheels stolen below:
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