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Motor Inn in Albert Lea: Tires taken from 8 vehicles took about 20 minutes

"We will gladly pay $1,000 cash reward to anyone that can give us information leading to an arrest.”

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 1:23 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2018 10:18 PM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. - The Motor Inn Company is estimating it only took 20 minutes for someone to steal the tires off of eight vehicles in the dealership show lot over the weekend.

It's a problem several Minnesota communities have faced. The Albert Lea Police Department said there were similar occurrences in Fergus Falls, Apple Valley, and Rochester.

Motor Inn posted on their Facebook page, offering a $1000 cash reward for any information leading to an arrest.

Ryan Wuerflein, the general manager, said he's surprised by some of the feedback.

"There was a lot of people that were you know, 'hey, we're really sorry you know this shouldn't happen,'" Wuerflein said, "and then there were other people accusing us of committing insurance fraud and lots of people with nothing good to say."

Wuerflein said it's actually a simple crime to commit.

"You just take a block like this, and you place it strategically in the location right under there," Wuerflein said. "They let the air out of the tires and then the way the truck sits on the block, and that leaves them room so that they can pull the wheel right off the side."

The culprits even left behind the wood and cement blocks they used. Overall, 32 tires were taken from the eight vehicles in the dealership's show lot.

"The best way to estimate how long it took them to do it was how long did it take us to put them back on," Wuerflein said. "What we did when we put them back on, took us about 50 minutes, call it an hour. I would estimate with them not having to jack the vehicle up, or do too much, I would estimate they were in and out of here in some where around 20 minutes."

The Albert Lea Police Department is reviewing surveillance video as they investigate the crime. As for Motor Inn, it's back to work.

"We've basically turned it over to police," Wuerflein said. "We're going to let them do their thing and we're going to put some wheels back on these trucks and get them sold."

Wuerflein said their Facebook post actually spurred some interest in the vehicles.

ALBERT LEA, Minn. – The Motor Inn in Albert Lea estimates it took around 20 minutes for someone to take the tires off eight different vehicles this weekend.
“We at Motor Inn are asking for any information that anyone can share in regard to a theft of multiple premium wheels off of some vehicles on our lot. We will gladly pay $1,000 cash reward to anyone that can give us information leading to an arrest,” the company said this weekend on social media.
Thirty-two tires were taken from the dealership’s show lot.
Albert Lea Police said this has happened at three different Minnesota locations.
Surveillance video of the thefts has been given to authorities.

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