FLINT, MI - In an effort to thwart ongoing tire thefts, the Genesee County Road Commission has resorted to branding every tire it buys for its vehicle fleet, according to the Flint Journal.

The branding effort is apparently part of a strategy officials say is being made to prevent future thefts of tires and other equipment, the Journal reported.

Last week, Road Commission Chairman David Miller and Vice Chairman James Pomeroy told the county Board of Commissioners about seven policy changes, including the serial number branding plan, but have yet to discuss the scope of internal thefts at the road agency or how the thefts occurred.

In late October, the Road Commission suspended one employee without pay and turned an internal investigation of tire thefts over to the Michigan State Police, reported the Journal.

In addition to branding each tire with a permanent serial number in the future, the Road Commission said other steps are being taken, at an estimated cost of $50,000, to protect tires and equipment stored in its Flint garage, including the installation of both a computer coded gate at the garage and additional security cameras, and the assignment of a single supervisor to oversee tire security and to supervise maintenance workers during tire replacement operations.

An MSP official said that the tire theft investigation at the Road Commission is continuing.