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Rims were targeted in New Richmond, Hudson thefts

New Richmond police released this image of a Chevy Suburban believed connected to thefts at an auto lot. (Submitted image)1 / 2
New Richmond police say these were the wheels stolen off vehicles at a car lot on Monday, Feb. 13. (Submitted image)2 / 2

Western Wisconsin authorities were investigating the possibility that a theft in New Richmond might be connected with other, similar incidents in the area.

New Richmond police put out an alert Feb. 13 about a theft earlier that morning involving rims stolen at an auto sales lot.

According to a news release, joggers reported seeing someone taking rims off new trucks at 5:30 a.m. at Johnson Motors, 620 Deere Road. The suspect seen by the joggers was reportedly heard talking to another person believed to be involved in the thefts.

The suspects fled in a van when police arrived, heading west on Highway 64. The van, described as a mid-2000s Chevrolet Suburban, was last seen at the County Road K overpass. Police concluded the suspects likely turned off there because St. Croix County sheriff's deputies waiting in Houlton never intercepted the vehicle.

New Richmond police said eight rims, totaling about $8,000, were taken from trucks on the lot. The rims were described as 22-inch black Rally Edition models with Bridgestone tires.

New Richmond detective Andy Westmoreland said Thursday that he was following up on leads, but that no arrests had been made in the case.

He said he was also investigating the possibility that similar thefts in Hudson and Prescott might be related to the Johnson Motors incident.

"It's possible," he said.

Hudson Police Chief Marty Jensen said Hudson Ford reported that sometime between 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, and 8:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, someone jacked up a Ford C-Max and stole one of its wheels. He said officers there are looking into the possibility of a connection with the New Richmond incident, but said dealership officials noted that the C-Max isn't equipped with a spare tire, so it's conceivable someone took it for that purpose.

Westmoreland said a similar theft may have also occurred in Prescott, though police there did not immediately respond to a request seeking information.

Anyone with information about the New Richmond theft can call Westmoreland at 715-246-6667.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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