How to catch someone letting air out of your tires


Someone is regularly letting air out of my tires. It is a different tire each time. I want to catch them or at least stop doing this. I live in town by a high school and have an ex that may do something like this. I have to park on the street. Does anyone have any ideas?


Is a motion-activated video camera feisable?


Cover the valve stem caps with Crazy Glue or other strong adhesive just before you leave the vehicle. Then, when you come back, the culprit will be glued to the tire.

Or, put some gooey substance on the covers that is difficult to get off skin (tar, perhaps.) After one air removal episode, the culprit won’t do it again.

Lastly, you could put some corrosive material on the caps that will burn the culprit - but I do not recommend or condone doing this.


I’m thinking you could put some black toner from a copier or printer on the wheels and tires. This is a very fine black powder that will get on the perp’s hands and clothes and cause a big mess. You might not find out who did it, but it should discourage them.


Tonight, put a sticky note by each valve stem that says “Smile, you’re on Candid Camera”.

Don’t worry about a camera. The jerk won’t know you don’t have one trained on him and he’ll get out of there and think twice before coming back.


I Googled “car proximity alarm” and came up with Clifford AdvantGuard 5.5X. There should be more proximity alarms. I encountered one quite a few years ago. When you got within about a foot of the car, a speaker would loudly say “Get away from the car!” or something to that effect.

We have a method to monitor the car that we use away from home once in a while when the occasion demands. We have a dog, kept inside the car, that barks when someone gets too close to our car. I set up an inexpensive FRS radio to VOX (voice activated transmission) and then can hear the dog barking on my receiver in my pocket.


Check out these caps-

If the act is malicious, defeating them might escalate the activity to something worse.


i know that hunters have a motion activated camera that takes a photo when anything gets within so many feet (its adjustable)

the only problem is it has to be pointed AT the subject. so this means it has to be outside the car.

i am not sure if it would work from inside the car, with the flash and all reflecting off the glass.

have you considered keeping a log of the nights this happens, and on a suspect night sending it outside in an area within view of the car, but sort of hidden and kept watch yourself? (with a flash camera)

also have you discussed this with the police?

do you have a restraining order out on this individual?


“Cover the valve stem caps with Crazy Glue or other strong adhesive just before you leave the vehicle.”

Since Crazy Glue dries within seconds, this absolutely would not work. And, the chance of some of that glue dripping into the tiny gap between the valve caps and the valves (thus making it impossible to remove the valve caps) makes this a VERY risky proposition–in addition to the fact that it would not snare the offender.

Please ignore the advice about using Crazy Glue or other Cyanoacrylate glues.


check this sout for a way to alert you when someone comes near it. but you have ot be within about 300 ft of the car for this to work.



Please don’t break the law to enforce your idea of justice. Call the police or hire a detective to sit out and catch this pos, then add the detectives fee to the criminal charge when he/she is convicted as restitution. Spring guns, booby traps and the like are illegal and could subject you to criminal and civil problems. Rocketman


Well, as annoying as this is, there isn’t actually a law against letting the air out of someone’s tires and it would be really very hard to claim any civil damages, let alone a detective’s fee.


I’d recommend put some mustard-gas in the tires, am not sure whether you can catch them alive, though.


Well, in that case, why not just go all the way and put some Polonium on the valve caps? It is reportedly available through the Russian Embassy.


I like the gooey substance suggestion-something smelly would be good. I would probably go with some axle grease or even WD-40. It really stinks to me!


While there may be no specific law concerning letting the air out of someone’s tires, it would certainly be covered under the general category of vandalism. Plus, letting the air out makes the car unusable until the tire is re-inflated which takes time and money. There is definitely an economic cost that could be claimed in a civil suit. Probably not enough to interest a lawyer, but that is what small claims court is for.


Park someplace else.


Anyone, but a complete idiot, would get tired of letting the air out of your tires, after a while. Of course the said idiot is interested in your reaction, real, or imagined. Show, and voice NO reaction. Get a cigarette lighter powered tire air pump. When the air is let out, re-inflate, and have a nice day.


Betcha I can find a law against it . . . what’ll you wager? Go through the crimes code (here in Pennsylvania it is several volumes). No civil damages? Late for work? Does your Boss pay your hourly when you’re not there because some idiot disabled your transportation? Garage man has to come over to pump up all four tires a few times a week? Does he do it for free? C’mon . . . I pranked with the best of 'em when I was a kid, but I know that any District Justice in my area would fine the violator and add restitution of damages like lost wages, AAA or garage man charges to the criminal case.


Well, okay, perhaps that’s a bit of an oversimplification. However, most state’s vandalism statutes require some sort of property damage, which this really isn’t. Perhaps if the person actually steals the valve cores, a case could be made. What it would probably fall under is disorderly conduct, which isn’t even a full misdemeanor in some states, or some sort of “mischief” statute, which means different things in different states.

Every so often you read newspaper stories about some kid letting the air out of school bus tires. Usually the judge more or less decides there’s no criminal statutes they can prosecute them under and just remand them to school discipline, whereas they probably would have been prosecuted for, say, slashing the tires.

As for restitution, I’d bet you could get a small-claims court judge to award you the forty bucks or whatever it cost to get the guy to drive out and air your tires up and maybe the cost of a cab ride to work, but for anything else you would have to catch the judge in a particularly vindictive mood.