The thieves are not stealing steel wheels, only alloy wheels. They can't make enough money on steel wheels to make it worth their while. It's pretty obvious on an alloy wheel how many lug bolts there are. The thieves are specifically targeting smart cars because they've figured out how easy it is to steal wheels from them.Just as an interesting note to the idea that a Smart only has 3 lug nuts (bolts), thus making it easier to steal. Most folk would not know that readily as the wheel covers on a Smart steely generally have 5 lug nuts shown on them and unless you were familiar with Smarts to begin with, the average person would not really know there were two less nuts beneath those wheel covers.
I'm definitely not giving them too much credit. Theft of smart car wheels is "a thing" here in the Rose City. smart cars are being targeted for wheel theft. Silver Mojito reported his wheels stolen just about a year ago and he lives directly across from a police station!In addition, the person would also have to be aware as to the exact size of the lug nuts (bolts) to even think to carry a 17mm socket and wrench along for removal. In other words, they have to pretty well be an educated Smart car wheel thief to begin with when you think about it. I am not so sure that the typical meth head Smart Car wheel thief is not being given a bit too much credit.
Yep, if you only have 5-6 smart cars around you don't have much to worry about. But smart cars are ubiquitous here. For example, I just returned from my nightly stroll around the neighborhood. I counted 11 smart cars on my 1 hour walk. 6 were Car2Go's. Of the remaining 5, three were ED's. One was missing both of it's rear wheels....That said, of the 5-6 Smart Cars located in my city of about 105,000 people, I'll have to plot out their location at the local WalMart parking lot so I can find them with my GPS when the time comes to strike with my tools in hand. It sure don't look like much profit in store for me with so few Smarts on hand locally though.