EVERETT — Their wheeling-dealing has landed them in hot water.
Everett police and the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force deflated a criminal ring that allegedly was selling stolen tires Wednesday evening.
Detectives turned to Craigslist for potential suspects after an Everett commercial tire company was hit on three different occasions.
On the free classified ad site, they found a sales pitch for tires that matched those stolen from the Everett business.
During the burglaries, dozens of tires were stolen. Their value ranged from $445 to $725 each. Their total value exceeded $11,000.
Detectives posing as buyers answered the ad.
A deal was struck to purchase 10 tires.
The parties agreed to meet in a parking lot in the 1000 block of Broadway in Everett.
Two men suspected of hawking the hot wheels pulled up in a silver Volkswagen. They were wary, making a “heat” check by circling the parking lot twice and looking for police cars and officers.
Seeing none, they called their prospective buyer.
The undercover detectives and tire thieves made small talk. The independent businessmen explained that the tires were en route.
A few minutes later, a red pickup with its bed full of commercial truck tires pulled into the lot.
The detectives examined the tires. Some had the word “Everett” written in chalk on them. It also appeared that factory stickers had been removed.
That’s when the detectives signaled for their backup officers to move in.
Three men were taken into custody for interviews. They helped police recover other missing tires.
The case remains under investigation.
Eric Stevick: firstname.lastname@example.org; 425-339-3446