LINCOLNTON, N.C. --Thieves stole nearly $2,400 dollars worth of tires and rims from new Lincoln County Sheriff s Office squad cars.

Investigators found at least one Ford Crown Victoria on cinder blocks in an enclosed, barbed wire fenced parking lot on Gaston Street in Lincolnton.

Altogether, seven tires and rims were stolen.

Sheriff David Carpenter said whoever stole the tires and rims scaled the fence.

Very bold in their actions and they actually scaled a fenced-in area to get to the location where this was, he said.

The thefts happened between October 26 and November 9.

They weren't discovered until sheriff's office employees came to look at the cars.

A total of 15 new squad cars were sitting there in the parking lot, waiting for blue lights and decals to be put on before they hit the streets.

Sheriff Carpenter had the cars at that lot specifically because the lot was enclosed, locked and wired.

It sort of sends a clear message that we're also susceptible to some type of crime - our agency is in the county - so it's something we're not proud of, Carpenter said.

Investigators don't know who stole them and they're checking a few known locations where people sell rims and tires.

For now, the new cars will ride on spare tires once they're ready for the road.

There are some markings on the rims. There are DOT markings that match the tires left on the other vehicles, so we do have a little something to go on, Carpenter said.

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