A high school student got quite a surprise when she returned to her car after having lunch at Fredericton's Regent Mall on the weekend.

Brianne Reed of Scotch Lake came out of the mall to find both of the rear wheels had been stolen off her Mazda Protege.

Brazen theft

Brianne Reed came out of the Regent Mall to find the rear wheels had been stolen off her Mazda Protege. (Brianne Reed / Facebook)

"When I came back out I noticed that my car was slanted to the side and I thought maybe I just had some flat tires," said the 18-year-old Grade 12 student at Fredericton High School.

"But when I got closer, I realized the back two tires were gone and my car was jacked up.

"I thought it was a joke at first."

But it wasn't. She contacted mall security and a review of surveillance tape of the parking lot shows a vehicle park beside Reed's car and two men emerge to jack up her car and steal the two wheels and rims.

It took the thieves about 30 minutes to remove the tires. Vehicles passed by while they were removing the tires, but no one stopped to question them.

"I'm kind of angry, but I'm kind of surprised at the same time," said Reed. "They didn't know how long I was going to be in the mall. I could have caught them in the act.

"I'm just shocked they can get away with it in the middle of the day."

The tires were studded winter tires that were bought in December. They had aluminum Miata rims.

The images on the surveillance video are not sharp enough to identify the thieves or the licence plate on their vehicle.

Brianne's mother Terry Lynn Reed posted information about the theft on Facebook and Kijiji to alert people to the theft of the tires.

"I want to make it difficult for these people to sell them."