Vandals slash 22 tires downtown

The police think the crimes are related to parties.

Nearly two-dozen tires were slashed on the south side of Paquin Street a Columbia Police Department news release stated.

The vandalism happened Sunday night. A CPD officer was dispatched to the street Monday at 10 a.m. to inspect one case of the vandalism.

One victim said they saw several of the tires along the same street were also flat.

Upon inspection, the officer noticed 21 tires had been vandalized. Each car had only one flat tire and in most cases it was the front left tire.

Later, another case was reported in the same area, making the total 22 vandalized cars.

The officer went door-to-door asking local residents and people in the area if they had seen anything suspicious the evening before. Only one person said they had.

"One of the cars had been sort of moved onto the sidewalk," CPD spokeswoman Jessie Haden said. "A week earlier, the same kind of thing happened."

One resident yelled at the people she saw last week and they ran off into a residence, which appeared to be having a large party, Haden said.

When the responding officer investigated this claim, he found a large amount of trash, indicating there had likely been a large party the night before.

"It's very likely that people at that address or friends of theirs were the ones responsible," Haden said. "Clearly they are having parties that are getting out of hand."

A knife, ice pick or hole-punch could have been used to puncture the tires, she said.

Fingerprints were lifted from the vehicle that was raised onto the curb, and were sent in for analysis. The analysis could take 8 to 10 months, Haden said.

The case was referred to CPD's investigative division.

Haden said some people don't consider this type of crime very significant.

"To you or me it would be a huge inconvenience," Haden said. "They'll be out at least $50. Then, if they have to get their car towed or someone to do the work, that's extra expenses."

Victims often want to take the perpetrator to small claims court and pursue criminal charges.

Police instructed the witness to report if another large party occurred in the same residence.

"A lot of people don't want to be party-poopers," Haden said. "We really do want people to let us know."

Haden said if people report parties, police would patrol the area. She also added if anyone else saw anything or has any tips to call Crime Stoppers.

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