UPDATE: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A woman accused of slashing dozens of tires in southwest Wichita has been charged for the crimes.
Lisa Marie Milton, 38, made her first appearance in Sedgwick County District Court Tuesday. Prosecutors charged her with one count of criminal damage to property and two counts of aggravated assault.
Since Aug. 1, police have worked 89 cases of tire slashings in the area of Kellogg to Harry and Edgemoor to Rock.
While police have not tied Milton to all cases, they are looking to see if the crimes are connected.
Prosecutors said the aggravated assault charges carry a higher penalty despite evidence that could link Milton to more property damage charges.
The aggravated assault charges stem from a report of Milton threatening two men after she was found with a knife in the 700 block of South Mission on Saturday.
Milton remains jailed on $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 25.
UPDATE: Monday, September 10, 2012
Residents of a southeast Wichita neighborhood are breathing a sigh of relief after a group of alert neighbors helped police arrest a woman who is suspected of slashing the tires of nearly 100 vehicles.
Since Aug. 1, police have worked 89 cases of tire slashings in the area of Kellogg to Harry and Edgemoor to Rock. Officers worked around the clock trying to catch the person responsible, but it was that group of neighbors who finally caught the suspect red-handed.
Early Saturday afternoon, Krystal Iseminger says her stepfather walked outside their home and heard the hissing of air.
"He saw her and he said 'Hey, what are you doing?' and she raised up and had the knife and said "Don't come any closer,'" said Iseminger.
That's when neighbor Jack McMichael heard the commotion.
"When I heard 'Tire slasher, tire slasher' that's when I ran out to help," said McMichael.
A small group of neighbors joined McMichael and began chasing 38-year-old Lisa Milton down the street. All the while, they say she was wielding a small pocket knife.
"First of all she said 'Get away from me or I'll cut you.' She turned around and I stopped... I said 'Look out she has a knife.' I backed away and she said 'Don't follow me' and I said 'I have to follow you honey, I have no choice' so we start running again," said McMichael.
The group continued to follow Milton until officers arrived on the scene and arrested her.
Police say Milton may be connected to some or all of the recent tire slashings. She's currently in jail on $10,000 bond. Charges are expected later this week.
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Police have arrested a woman who they say was caught slashing a tire in southeast Wichita. Now they're asking for your help in connecting her to more than two dozen similar crimes in the area.
Just after 12:30 p.m. Saturday in the 700 block of South Mission Road, police say a man working in his garage saw the woman crouched by his vehicle. He then heard a loud hissing sound and saw one of his tires deflating as the woman walked away.
The man approached the woman and told her to stop. Police say she threatened him with a knife and told him to get away from her.
The man continued following the woman, yelling that she was a tire slasher. Neighbors came out of their homes and joined the man in following the woman.
Officials say the woman threatened one of the neighbors with the knife and again warned them to stay away from her. That man called 911 and stayed on the phone with dispatchers while continuing to follow the woman from a safe distance until police arrived on the scene and arrested her.
The woman refused to talk to police. Officers seized her knife and found it appeared to match the size and shape of the damage found on the victim's tire. It was also covered in an oily residue similar to what would be found inside a tire.
Police believe the woman may be responsible for some if not all of the approximately 30 reported incidents of tire slashings in the area. All of the vandalisms occurred within a walking distance of where the woman was arrested.
The suspect's name has not been released but she is described as a 38-year-old heavyset black woman. Officials ask anyone who remembers seeing someone matching the woman's description near the scene of one of these vandalisms to call the Wichita Police Department at (316) 268-4646.