FRISCO, Texas — Alan Castro was excited to finally buy his first brand new car. It was a 2022 Toyota Corolla he had special ordered back when he lived in El Paso. When he moved it up to Frisco, he was excited to take it on long trips.
But recently, Castro has been the target of thieves who have been after his wheels.
"I was like, 'Damn, again?' It happened again. The first time it was on cinder blocks, and the second time it was on jacks," said Castro.
The way he found his vehicle in the parking garage in December of 2021 at his Frisco apartment is the same way he found it on July 1 of this year. He's been a victim twice in six months.
The Frisco Police Department confirmed officers are investigating six reported cases this year alone. The department said the latest cases only involve Toyota Corollas.
Castro is confident there are more than just the six cases and told WFAA he's connected with at least nine people who reached out to him after his social media post describing the incident.
"They can get a set of wheels and tires off a vehicle in 5 to 10 minutes with the right equipment," said Shawn Massoudi, who is with A-1 Rylie Auto Parts, an auto recycling yard in South Dallas.
Massoudi told WFAA that inflation and parts on major backorder has motivated thieves.
It's the reason his yard only deals with auctions, dealerships and wholesalers.
Massoudi told WFAA he knows right away when he's dealing with someone who is not reputable.
"They only want to get paid in cash. They're selling a Corolla wheel worth $120 for $20, these are all those tells," said Massoudi.
Castro told WFAA that one thing that is peculiar is the timing of both times he was hit: it coincided with the time frame his vehicle was sent to a service shop in Plano. Castro said he alerted Frisco police of this, and said one other victim who reached out to him over social media had also just had their car returned from the Plano service location.
"It sucks when you're working hard to get something better for you, and all of sudden someone comes and takes it," said Castro.
Police told WFAA most all of the cases have happened at apartment complexes. They recommend wheel locks and parking in well lit areas next to cameras.