21 reports of tires slashed on New Year’s Day

       The New Year rang in painfully for a number of Westsiders, who went out to their cars that morning only to find the tires slashed.
       By this week, police had taken a total of 21 reports of tires flattened by as-yet-unknown perpetrators who gouged their sidewalls with a pocket knife, according to Sgt. Richard Pantle of Colorado Springs Police.
       The vandalism occurred sometime between 12:30 and 6 a.m. Jan. 1, resulting in an estimated damage total of more than $4,000. This is well over the minimum ($500) needed to make it a felony. Anyone arrested at this point would be charged with 21 counts of felony criminal mischief, Pantle said.
       Victimized were cars parked in the 2200 block of West Kiowa Street (9 reports); 1700 block of West Vermijo Avenue (5); 1300 block of West Cucharras Street (3); 1700 block of West Kiowa (2); 1900 block of West Vermijo (1); and the 2000 block of West Platte Avenue (1).
       Police re-ceived no reports of criminal activity in the area during the time frame.
       The slashed tires were mosly on the street side of the vehicles (rather than the curb side), Pantle said.
       Doug Norden, a resident of the 2200 block of West Kiowa, had both the front and rear left-side tires slashed on his Subaru. He took the philosophical approach that it's an older car and its tires aren't overly expensive; he planned to try patching them - although conceding this is often not possible with sidewall punctures.
       David Hughes III, who lives on the same block, also had his car on the street that night, but it was not attacked. In talking to his neighbors, he said some are quite angry. Although he has cautioned people against taking precipitous action, he said if the perpetrators were to get caught slashing tires again, they would probably not be happy with the consequences.
       A man in the 1700 block of West Vermijo, who declined to give his name, speculated that the vandals used a car themselves, with one getting out randomly to puncture tires. He noted that one of the victimized vehicles in the block was a brand-new car. “What a way to start the new year,” he said.
       Currently, police have “no good leads on who was doing it,” Pantle said. But it is a likelihood that the criminals were young people, he added. On that assumption, a school resource officer is checking at Westside schools to see if any students were involved. The best hope, Pantle said, is if those who did it start bragging to others. “When somebody tells somebody else, the story spreads, and it gets bigger and bigger,” he said.
       Anyone with information can call the main police phone number (444-7000) or the Crimestoppers number (634-7867).

Westside Pioneer article