Several years ago in our neighborhood, police showed up early one morning at a house just up the street to arrest an individual who had been involved in a crime. I don’t remember exactly what the crime was, but the perpetrator escaped the scene in a vehicle which left no doubt about where he could be found.
It seems that during the crime — whether it was a car accident in which the driver left the scene or a shooting — one of the escape vehicle’s tires was compromised and flew off the rim as it sped away.
The driver continued his escape and made it back to his home, only to find police waiting for him the next morning.
The car’s wheel, it seems, had carved a deep gouge in the pavement all the way from where the tire flew off the rim near the crime scene to the perp’s house. And sure enough, when police inspected the car, one tire was missing and its rim had been transmogrified into a pavement-gouging instrument of destruction and an irrefutable clue. It was much better than a set of fingerprints for solving the case.
If you look today, I think you can still see traces of the car’s route in the asphalt on our street. And we’re relieved to know that this guy doesn’t live in our neighborhood any more.