String of tire slashing in Tower District

Police say night and early morning hours are prime time for vandals who are targeting tires along neighborhood streets.
October 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police say night and early morning hours are prime time for vandals who are targeting tires along neighborhood streets. The crime is costing the victims in Fresno's Tower District hundreds of dollars.

The residential streets in the Tower District are relatively quiet overnight as many are inside for the night. But, their cars and trucks are essentially sitting ducks on the street.

"The Tower District has a reputation, but it's normally a pretty quiet neighborhood to live," said Tower District resident who asked to be called Ziggy. "And now this has been happening for a week or two and it's got everything shooken up," Ziggy said.

Ziggy also says the back driver's side tire on his Toyota pick-up was punctured and leaking slowly.

They're doing more cars," said Ziggy. "It used to be one or two cars, now it seems to be five or six a night."

"It was littered with cars with tires slashed, one tire, two tires, to four tires," said concerned neighbor Josh Bunch.

Bunch is fortunate enough to have a garage to lock up his car but he contacted Action News in defense of his neighborhood. He says as many as 20 cars in one night were slashed, leaving drivers with no way to get to work in the morning, when they discovered the crime.

"We wanted to get the word out to let, not only other neighbors, know but to try and get some attention from the police department," Bunch said.

Fresno police officers are aware of the chatter in the neighborhood. But Sgt. Paul Preston says since late last month only seven crime reports have been filed in that area for slashed tires. "If we don't know what's occurring we can't really address the problem," he said.

Preston says Fresno police are often busy responding to more urgent calls and for non-violent crimes, like this vandalism, online reports are the best way to notify police.

"That's usually the quickest way we get it," Sgt. Preston said. "Sometimes it takes a lot of time for an officer to get out there and take the report, if that's what they want."

Police know this crime is important and urgent to victims and they'll work to catch the crooks, especially when there's a spike in crime reports. Chief Jerry Dyer has said the department is working on opening a satellite police office in Central Fresno. Until then some neighbors say they will stake out the area overnight to keep crooks away.


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