Vandals go on tire-slashing spree in Port Alberni

Police seek information on vandals who slashed tires on 16 vehicles near 10th Avenue and Burde Street on Dec. 14.

The holiday season is often a time for giving and expressing good will to others, however 16 vehicle owners might have a different thought about this after they were victimized by unknown persons late Friday night.

Vandals slashed a total of 22 vehicle tires in the neighbourhood of Burde Street and Bute Street between Ninth Avenue and 10th Avenue, Port Alberni RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan said.

Police received calls from half of the vehicle owners between 10:30 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday; the other half of the vehicles were discovered after RCMP members did a walk around the neighbourhood. Some vehicles had all four tires slashed, while others had one or two slashed, Allan said. There was no evident pattern to the damage.

“It is unknown what type of implement was used in the incidents, but it is clear that the intent was to damage many vehicles in a short period of time,” she said.

Information received in one investigation indicated that three teens were spotted near one of the damaged vehicles, and one of them was observed crouching down behind the vehicle. Unfortunately this was not reported to police at the time, she said.

“It’s information that appears very strongly to be related to the incident. We’re not absolutely sure these teens that were seen in the area were responsible, but it’s a lead.”

She encourages residents to look into Block Watch, a relatively new program to Port Alberni that encourages neighbours to link up in an effort to prevent and detect crime by reporting suspicious activity to police. Additional information about the program is available by calling the Community Policing Unit at 724-8908.

“Everybody’s pretty cash-strapped at this time of year. Having to replace four vehicle tires because someone wanted to have some cheap thrills is really unfortunate,” Allan said.

Port Alberni RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the individuals responsible for these senseless acts. Anyone with information is asked to contact the local detachment at 723-2424, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS where tipsters are eligible to receive a cash reward for anonymously providing information that leads to the arrest of the persons responsible for this crime.

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