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Press Release: Vehicles Vandalized in South Berkeley

From Sergeant Mary C. Kusmiss, BPD Public Information Officer
Wednesday August 31, 2011 - 05:16:00 PM

A community member [called] the City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) at about 7:00 a.m. this morning (August 31, 2011) to report that one of her car’s tires had been slashed or punctured. BPD received additional reports of flattened tires in a number of South Berkeley neighborhoods, thus additional BPD patrol officers responded to support the investigation.

The officers began checking the blocks surrounded the initial reports and were either flagged down by vehicle owners or found many more vandalized tries covering 17 blocks on California Street from 62nd to Blake Streets. Four (4) officers pro-actively continued searching for additional vehicles and respond to new calls for service related to the crimes. Additional vehicles’ tries were damaged in the 1600 block of Julia, 1500 block of Russell Street, 2800, 2900, 3000 and 3400 blocks of King Streets.” 

“At the time of this writing, 5:00 p.m., all the paperwork is being reviewed and compiled and we are estimating approximately 50 cars, vans and trucks had one or two tires punctured. Based on these reports, sometime overnight, a suspect or suspects used an unknown tool or weapon to flatten the tries. There is no specific pattern aside from general locations that any specific type, color, make or model vehicle was the focus of the crimes.” 

“Community members were understandably upset, angered, surprised and frustrated by the discovery of these crimes as it had and has significant impacts on their lifestyles such as driving children to school, going to work, transporting family members to appointments and driving to care for older parents or family members. Some changed their own tires, tow trucks were called to assist, as well as neighbors helped neighbors change tires. Some of the vehicles were left parked until the community member can order or afford to purchase replacements. Some community members shared that neighbors were out of town and would learn of the tires upon his/her return.” 

“This investigation is very active and ongoing. Officers are pursuing leads. BPD has not made any arrests and the motive for all the crimes is not known.” 

“Any community member that may have seen or heard anything or witnessed any of these crimes is encouraged to call BPD NON-Emergency Dispatch Line at (510) 981-5900. If a community member wishes to remain anonymous, he/she is encouraged to call the Bay Area Crimes Stoppers (BACS) at (800)-222-TIPS (8477). Any information may be critical to solving these crimes. Sometimes the smallest or seemingly insignificant detail can be the key to arresting the suspect or suspects in any crime.”