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Two arrested after series of wheel thefts reported

The Letcher County Sheriff’s Department has arrested two people in connection with recent thefts of aluminum wheels, but police say there are more people involved in these crimes.

Lieutenant M.K. Terry of the Letcher County Sheriff’s Department said wheels have been stolen from at least 30 different vehicles in the county and several other people are involved but have not been charged.

“Basically you get up to go to work and your tires are gone,” said Terry.

Terry said the stolen tires are being sold for about $60 to $80 a set.

At 2 a.m. on October 23, Letcher County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Damron saw a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle on which the sheriff’s department had received information about the tire thefts. Damron observed the occupants of the vehicle allegedly attempting another theft and then arrested Matthew C. Collins, 27, of Wise, Va., and Randy Church, 25, of Jenkins. Both were charged with criminal trespassing.

The next morning Collins and Church were questioned about the thefts by the sheriff’s department. Terry said information was obtained describing their involvement in numerous thefts involving aluminum wheels in the county. Both were charged with four counts of receiving stolen property.

The Wise County Sheriff’s Department is helping in the investigation. The Letcher County Sheriff’s Department has charge of the investigation.

Anyone with information about the recent rash of tire thefts should call the sheriff’s department at 633-2293.

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