Tire Slashers Increase Crime In Southeast Wichita

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

In the last month, police think more than 100 residents in one Wichita neighborhood have had their tires slashed; and that number continues to rise. The problem started in early August along Lincoln between Woodlawn and Rock Rd.

It doesn't take long to walk down one of the streets near Lincoln and Governour to find a car with at least one flat tire. In some cases, all four tires have been slashed. Residents are fed up and some we spoke to Thursday didn't want to be identified for fear of being attacked again.

"We're using cameras. We're using unmarked patrols. We're using a lot of different methods," explained Wichita Police Lt. Walker Andrews. "We're using just about everything we have."

Police are just as frustrated as area residents. Some have had their tires slashed more than once. Andrews suspects there may be twice as many actual incidents due to a lot of victims not reporting to police.

"I've talked to several who did not call police when we were out in the neighborhood the last few days," said Andrews, "so it's really an undertermined amount of vandalism to this point."

"Really, I've never worried about anything, but I've talked to a couple neighbors and they've all had tires slashed," said Anthony Krueger, who lives in the area. "I didn't think anything of it, but since I heard about it, the first thing I do every morning is look outside and make sure my tires are still good."

After seeing the story on KAKE last week, some victims are opting not to even fix their tires until the slashers have been caught.

"It's been four or five days ago," said Tish McPherson. "We were out of town over the holiday weekend."

"Usually, right before I go to bed, I'll look out," said Krueger. "I try to pull up further in the driveway. That way, they have to get closer to the house to be able to get to it. If people come over, I tell them to park in the driveway, not in the street."

Police will continue to focus a lot of resources on this problem through the weekend. It's very possible, police say, that the people who have been doing this have talked to others about it, so if you have any information to help solve the case, call Crimestoppers at (316) 267-2111.

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