SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 17, 2013

Peabody police: Tire thieves foiled by mud, tow

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — PEABODY — Police say two men from New York were arrested for stealing tires from a BMW lot on Centennial Drive yesterday morning when their getaway van got stuck in the mud — and they called for a tow.

Ethan Johnson, 20, of Laurelton, N.Y., was arrested on charges of larceny over $250, possession of a burglarious instrument, giving an officer a false name and address and four counts of wanton destruction of property over $250.

Avery Johnson, 19, also of Laurelton, was arrested on charges of larceny over $250, possession of a burglarious instrument and four counts of wanton destruction of property over $250.

According to the incident log, Gaeta’s Towing requested police assistance in removing a car from 5 Centennial Drive at 6 a.m.

When an officer showed up, he encountered two men who said they had pulled into the area “to go to the bathroom” and had gotten their van stuck in the mud, said Sgt. Robert Waugh.

But when the officer looked in the back of the van, he discovered 12 new BMW tires. A search of a nearby dealership lot turned up three vehicles with missing tires — each of which had been jacked up and left “on rocks,” causing extensive undercarriage damage, Waugh said.

There was also damage done to the nearby lawn of the property, which belongs to Weston and Sampson Engineers.

After the two men were arrested, their New York-registered van was towed to the police station. Later it was towed to the tow yard.