Twelve persons were arrested yesterday in connection with a theft ring that allegedly stole an estimated $40,000 worth of tires from the Stidham Tire Co. warehouse in Landover.

The tires allegedly were transported in Stidham trucks to a Glenarden service station and to various locations in Washington, where the tires, which retail for $100 each, reportedly were sold in sets of four for $50, according to Prince George's County police officer Douglas Hill.

Eleven of those arrested were Stidham employees who worked as warehousemen, truck drivers and forklifters on the loading docks at the company warehouse, 3900 Whitetire Rd. They were arrested yesterday morning by Prince George's police and taken to the Seat Pleasant station for processing.

Also arrested yesterday was Benny Meeks, 40, of 7110 Kempton Rd., Lanham, who owns and operates Jay's Shell Station at 8899 George Palmer Hwy., Glenarden, according to Hill.

Police said they acted to break up the reputed tire-theft ring after the Prince George's state's attorney's office received an anonymous letter July 15. District of Columbia police also received information that stolen tires were appearing for sale on downtown street corners.

The information was brought to the attention of Stidham Co. officials, who performed an audit on their warehouse inventory. They discovered a shortage of 700 tires, according to Hill.

The Stidham employees arrested yesterday were charged with larceny after trust, for a charge that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. Meeks was charged with grand receiving stolen goods, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Stidham employees arrested, according to Hill, were Jerry Peterson, 20, of 6415 63d Ave., Riverdale; Lewis Dawson, 26, of 1821 Bellhaven Dr., Landover; George Mason, 40, of 4550 Rhode Island Ave., North Brentwood; Andre Craig, 22, of 9101 Utica Pl., Landover; Alvin Williams, 20, of 2110 I St. NW; Michael Painter, 20, of 8714 Rhode Island Ave., College Park; James Brown, 30, of 1620 C st., SE; Howard Rodgers, 23, of 3526 Brightseat Rd., Landover; Willie Lynch, of Southern Avenue, Oxon Hill; John McNeil, 64, of 3493 Homend Place NW; and Tim Ballinger, 19, of 3802 65th Ave., Landover.