How these thieves pried open these cars, jack up trucks, and steal wheels, this had to be an inside job.
GM is going to eat a couple thousand dollars to outfit wheels on several new Sierra and Silverado trucks even before they hit dealership lots. According to Memphis-based tow truck driver Ivory Jones, several new GM trucks had to be hauled away on a flatbed trailer because they were missing their wheels. Upon closer inspection, it looks like thieves got to the wheels long before their rightful owners got to enjoy them.
Check out a couple of photos of a handful of trucks he saw on his shift below.
In the first photo we can see the bottom floor of a rail car with half a dozen Silverados and GMC Sierras. Both are essentially the same truck, sharing almost the same sheet metal, the same powertrain options but differing in a few key suspension options, interior touch points, and accessories.
In the second photo Jones managed to slide a Silverado High Country without wheels onto his flatbed trailer using special blocks designed to support the weight of the truck just on the brake calipers. The technical term is ball joint skates. Typically, tow drivers only have to break out one of these special skates since ball joints break one at a time, but this is no ordinary tow job.
You can see a tow truck on Reddit using similar skates. Coincidentally, the truck without wheels is also a Silverado, an older one.
Jones’s post gives little detail on when and where this train yard is but presumably these trucks are travelling by train from one of several GM factories that build both Sierra and Silverado and stopped overnight somewhere in Tennessee.
These wheels are expensive, costing several hundred dollars per wheel from the factory. According to Chevrolet’s build page for the Silverado, a full set of 22-inch optional wheels cost upwards of $2,995. A full set on eBay costs roughly half that.
Put that in Tennessee $15/hour minimum wage terms, you’d have to work 100 hours to earn $1,500 honestly. And when you put it like that, it’s easy to see why someone would be tempted by all that money just sitting there.
If you’re in the Memphis area and come across a super cheap set of Silverado or Sierra wheels, now you know one possibility where they came from.