Pricey wheel rims like the ones linked to the slaying of an Indianapolis woman are becoming a hot status symbol, the Indianapolis Star says. In the past year, police have connected the killings of at least three city residents to attempts to steal wheel rims from vehicles.
It reminds Indianapolis public safety director Robert Turner of a craze over Air Jordan sneakers that led to violence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. “We have some people who value rims over human life,” he said.
Buyers are paying $2,500 to $18,000 for rims that come in a shapes resembling everything from flames to the barrel of a handgun. The hottest-selling rims are called spinners, which continue to twirl like a pinwheel even while the vehicle is idling. “You could say these are like breast implants for your car,” said John Jarasa of Dub, a magazine that chronicles celebrities and their cars. “It’s going to make your car stand out.
A 40-year-old Indianapolis woman was fatally shot early Sunday at her home when she confronted two men attempting to steal her son’s car for its 20-inch custom wire wheels. The late-1970s model Oldsmobile was worth about $500. Its rims go for $2,500. Investigators say a local man who died July 28 may have been shot because he drove a 1977 Chevrolet Impala outfitted with $4,500 worth of customized wheels. The desire for fancy wheels also has led to deaths in other parts of the country recently.