By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
What appeared to be four minor yet related incidents of vandalism in Melvindale Tuesday night quadrupled in occurrence in Allen Park Wednesday night.
At least 16 police reports were filed Thursday in Allen Park for slashed and damaged car tires. At some residences more than one vehicle was targeted.
In Melvindale, three reports of slashed tires were reported Wednesday morning, and a fourth was reported by the afternoon, detective Cpl. Gary Bowerman said.
Two vehicles were vandalized in the 3400 block of McKitrick about 7 a.m. Wednesday. All but the front driver’s-side tire were slashed on a black 2007 Chrysler Sebring, and all four tires were slashed on a red 2006 Dodge Caravan.
In the nearby 3500 block of Elizabeth, four tires were flattened on a Chevrolet Impala, while the front passenger tire was flattened on a GMC Sierra. The owner, who reported the damage about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, believed the damage occurred between 6 and 6:30 a.m.
Less than half a mile away, in the 17000 block of Henry, the rear tires and convertible roof of a car were discovered slashed in the owner’s driveway about 6 a.m.
Two front tires also were slashed on a vehicle parked in the 3600 block of McKitrick. The vehicle owner was out of town, and the damage wasn’t noticed by a relative until about 11 a.m. Wednesday.
One day later Allen Park was receiving a high volume of tire slashing reports, with at least 16 reports filed by mid-afternoon on Thursday, according to Allen Park Detective Lt. James Wilkewitz.
Based on the time frame established by the reports, police believe the vandalism probably occurred between midnight and 6 a.m.
Most of the Allen Park vandalism occurred near the southeast city limits. However, three reports were filed by residents near Pelham and Champaign, two were west of Allen Road between Champaign and Wick, two occurred south of Moore and west of Reeck, and one outlying report occurred on McLain just west of Park.
Wilkewitz said that because the vandalism occurred in areas of relatively close proximity, they may well be the work of the same perpetrators. However, there have been no witnesses who have reported seeing or hearing anything other than the hissing of air leaving the slashed tires.
The damage appears to be caused by a pocketknife or steak knife. All slashes were made on sidewalls, rendering the tires irreparable.
Police say the choices of vehicles and owners appear to be random and unrelated. Wilkewitz did not believe the vandalism was part of an initiation ritual.
Police in both cities planned to step up patrols of both plain and marked squad cars for the Halloween weekend.