CHICAGO (CBS) — A growing number of car owners on the North Side are being targeted by thieves.

In many cases they’re after one thing: The wheels.

Eric Hermosillo woke up last weekend hoping to go to the gym. He walked to his car parked on George Street near Lincoln Avenue in Lakeview when he noticed a problem.

“My tires at least on this side near the curb were missing and then I looked on the other side and those were gone as well,” Hermosillo said. “I see the bricks. I can’t believe this actually happened.”

He took pictures of the damage to his Honda Accord, shared his story on Facebook and filed a police report.

“I was fortunate enough to not have been injured or harmed because you hear stories and sometimes people are in the car and they’re held up at gunpoint or whatever it may be,” Hermosillo said.

So what can you do to protect your car?

The manager of an auto body shop said you can always get a wheel lock. It can help deter the crime. But there’s no guarantee.

“They do make tools to remove one of those but it does take a little bit of effort to do this,” said Jack Gordon, who has been in the auto body business for 30 years and said he’s seen it all.

“I’m not sure why they’re doing it, to be honest with you. I would have to assume it’s resale market. I know that some of the wheels and tires off the newer Honda fits on some of the old the Civics so they can dress them up a little bit,” Gordon said.

He believes thieves sometimes get scared off in the middle of the crime.

“The customer gets in the car in the morning, starts driving down the street and the wheels are loose,” Gordon said. “And that could be a big safety issue.”

The auto body shop manager said it appears thieves are targeting wheels on mainly Hondas, Acuras and Toyotas.