If You Find a Plastic Bottle Stuck in Your Car's Wheel Well, You Could Be in Danger

Kelly Corbett - Author

Jun. 11 2023, Updated 8:21 a.m. ET

Folks, always keep your eyes peeled, because sometimes danger can sneak up on you in the strangest ways possible. In this article, we will be discussing something that I’m sure your high school teachers and/or driver instructors never warned you about: the hazard of finding a plastic bottle stuck in between that open space between your tire and your car's body, also known as the wheel well.

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If this ever happens to you, proceed with caution. If you go about solving this the wrong way, there could be serious repercussions. So, have I stressed you out yet? Keep reading for all you need to know about the "bottle on the car tire trick."

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Source: Getty Images
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If there is a plastic bottle placed in between your car and one of its tires, it may mean that a criminal is trying to target your vehicle.

So why is finding a plastic bottle in your wheel well bad, exactly? Well, for starters, the bottle is not being recycled properly.

But more importantly, it means that some schmuck likely put it there on purpose. Think about it. A strong gust of wind could never hurl a bottle into a space that tight. And before you ask, have you ever seen a squirrel that agile?

The truth of the matter is that a human (or maybe a group of them) put it there. And guess what? This person(s) is up to no good.

In the video below, Did You Know? explained the idea behind the trick and noted that it was first reported in Limpopo, South Africa. After that first incident, a video made in Mexico, which warned others about the perilous act, quickly went viral. However, as much as the video informed drivers of this act, it also gifted wannabe thieves with a strategy.

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Here's how the "bottle on the car trick" works.

A criminal(s) will target an unattended parked car. Then, he or she will place a plastic bottle inside the crevice of one of the tires and its wheel well. That criminal may then go back into hiding, while keeping an eye on the car.

When the driver returns to the car, there's a good chance he or she probably won't notice the bottle (I mean, do you inspect your car's tires every time you drive?)

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Eventually, the driver will start the car, try to pull away, but likely stop and panic once that plastic cracking noise begins. Ahh, make it stop!

The driver will probably leave the keys in the engine, open the car door, and do a loop around to find the problematic tire, which will most likely be on the passenger’s side.

As the driver crouches down to yank the bottle out, the criminal may then hop in the car and take off, or steal some of the driver's belongings and run away.

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Does it sound a little bonkers? Perhaps. But while there has been some doubt shined upon these cases, the strategy does make sense if someone was to try it out. Plus, under certain circumstances (it's dark out, the weather is bad, the driver is of old age, etc.), it could actually work.

The bottom line: Even though it may never ever happen to you, it's always good to know about.

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