Hanford vandals slash nearly 60 tires

FRESNO, Calif.

Robert Garcia had three tires slashed on two vehicles. "My daughter's car, we just put tires on it last month. And luckily our van was in the garage. We just got tires on it last week. So thankfully they got the two older vehicles," said Garcia.

Police woke up Garcia and several of his neighbors early Saturday morning. Investigators first got to the neighborhood when one victim called police. After officers arrived, they realized the suspect or suspects responsible had made it down several streets. In all, 20 victims reported a total of nearly 60 slashed tires.

"They began knocking on people's doors that had flat tires and they continued through the neighborhood to the adjacent neighborhood," said Senior Officer Brenda Lemos with the Hanford Police Department.

Hanford resident Rick Juhnke only realized he had been hit by the vandals after his parents called him from their nearby home, saying their tires had been slashed. "I came outside and saw my tires, and I'm like, 'oh my gosh.' And when I went around the corner there's people out on the street, looking at their cars. It was remarkable," said Juhnke.

Police estimate total damages at $7,000 to $10,000, which makes this a case of felony vandalism. But for the victims, even the cost of a single tire is hard to swallow. "I'm angry because that's money coming out of our pockets," said neighbor Barbara Costa.

Police say they are following leads, but at this point they don't know if the crimes were the result of one person or several people working together. Action News has also learned a patrol car from the Kings County Sheriff's Department also had its tire slashed as it was parked in front of a deputy's home. It was repaired quickly, costing the county, and ultimately taxpayers, money.

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