Think your winter commute is cold? Consider the fate of several Jeep Wrangler owners in Reno, Nev., who walked out of their homes on January mornings to discover that the doors of their SUVs were missing.
Reno police said at least eight Wranglers were hit, with thieves striking at night and taking both metal and soft-sided doors on Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimiteds.
Unlike most vehicles, the Wrangler has its door hinges on the outside of the door. Although the hinges are secured by a nut, they are designed to be easily removed to allow owners to take the doors off during warmer months, or when the mood strikes them.
The doors are expensive -- a new driver's side door for a 2011 Wrangler Unlimited costs more than $500 -- and are attractive targets for criminals. Police say the bad guys either sell the doors online or take them to swap meets.
Aftermarket parts makers have responded with several products, including a bolt-on hinge protector. But according to media reports, Reno police suggested another way for Wrangler owners in high-crime areas to secure their vehicles: Just remove the doors at night.