POLICE Department

Suspect Arrested, Victims Sought in "Wobbly Wheel" Scam Investigation

October 15 2019 - Charges have been filed against two suspects, one arrested and one at-large, following an investigation into fraudulent activity known as the "wobbly wheel" scam.  

Both suspects are charged with arson and endangering a child in the 185th State District Court.  One suspect, Speed Lorenzo Thompson (w/m, 24), has been arrested.  The second suspect, Guliano Christopher Thomson (w/m, 31), is not in custody.  Though the males have different last name spellings, they are brothers.  Booking photos of both suspects are attached to this news release.    

Both men erroneously advise victims that one of their vehicle's wheels is loose or damaged and then force the victim to pay for a repair.  They also state the wheel is on fire or is smoking to get the driver's attention.  

The scam begins when the suspects approach the victim in a parking lot or attempt to motion the citizen over while driving.  In most cases, the suspects represent themselves as mechanics and offer to address the issue for the victim.  One suspect then pretends to fix the victim's tire while other suspects distract the victim(s).  More recently, a suspect has been known to set the tire's wheel well on fire with a lighter to show the car owner the tire is smoking and there is melted plastic.  The suspect then pressures the victim into payment for repairs.  

Investigators believe there are more victims and are asking anyone who may have had contact with Speed Thompson or Guliano Thomson to contact the HPD Major Offenders Division at 713-308-3100 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.  

Wanted: Guliano Christopher Thomson
Wanted: Guliano Christopher Thomsonn

Arrested: Speed Lorenzo Thompson
Arrested: Speed Lorenzo Thompson

JKS/JFC 10-15-19

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.