A little after 8 a.m. one morning last month, with the sun already bathing Inver Grove Heights in daylight, someone drove up Pearlwood Estates, near Babcock Trail and Upper 55th Street East, and dumped more than 100 tires into a pile on the ground.
"I honestly don't know how they did it without anyone seeing them," Brandi Rienecker, the complex's assistant manager, told the Pioneer Press.
It's a recent criminal phenomenon that has struck property owners in West St. Paul, New Brighton and St. Anthony.
A Patch tipster said she's seen three dumping sites in Inver Grove Heights—all in the vicinity of Pearlwood Estates.
The cost of recycling tires can be upwards of $5 each and police have seen tire dumping before, though not in recent quantities and not usually in populated areas.
"They pull up wherever it's convenient: stop, dump and go," West St. Paul police Lt. Brian Sturgeon told the Pioneer Press. "We'll get a few reports of one or two of them being left by the side of the road but not the 20 to 50 at a time like we have now."
Inver Grove Heights police Lt. Sean Folmar speculated to the Pioneer Press about what might be motivating the dumpers.
"There are a million theories as to why someone came into possession with that many tires," he said, "Maybe a recycler raised their rates, or someone just inherited an old building with tons of tires."