Two Howard County business executives arrived at their offices one day this month and found their company trucks jacked up on wood blocks, with both front tires missing.
Afew days later, it happened to both of them again.
Gordon Salganik, vice president of Davis Distributing Co. in Elkridge, said the front tires of a company truck were stolen during the night of July 18 and again over the July 20-21 weekend.
Amy Isaacman, controller of Columbia Commercial Interiors, said her company, too, was hit twice by thieves who stole the front tires from a company truck. The first incident occurred at the business, off Md. 108, July 11, the second time July 18.
Both business people said a window of their trucks had been smashed, and a jack from inside the trucks had been used to remove the tires. Isaacman said a shop vacuum cleaner was also stolen from inside her truck.
A third business had tires stolen from two of its company trucks in a similar manner. Workers at Parts Plus, in Jessup, arrived at work July 15 to find two trucks jacked up on wood blocks with the front tires missing, said Joe Keary, assistant operations manager. The Parts Plus trucks' windows had been pried open, but not broken.
All of the businesses lease trucks from Ryder Truck Rental and Leasing.
A Ryder spokesman, Norman Kahler, said tires occasionally are stolen from trucks, and that he doesn't consider the incidents unusual.
But the business people said they were suspicious because the thefts all involved Ryder trucks with the same size tires, from the same area.
The business owners said they are concerned about a ring of tire thieves in Howard County, but police say such thefts are common and probably not the actions of an organized group.
"We have no knowledge of any active ring of thieves," said Sgt. Gary Gardner, police spokesman.
Radios, radar detectors and tires are among items commonly stolen from vehicles, Gardner said. The only unusual factor is that two business owners were victimized twice.
A tire specialist at Merchant's Tire and Auto in Baltimore said used tires usually don't sell for more than $20.
Police crime analysts will try to determine whether the Howard County incidents are related. An investigation is continuing, Gardner said.