Cambridge: Tire slashing rampage in West End

Dorchester Banner/Gloria Rojas
Dozens of car owners on the West End of Cambridge found their tires slashed on Monday night, causing police to look towards juveniles as possible culprits.

CAMBRIDGE — At least two dozen car owners got up this morning to find their car tires slashed during the night. The tires were slashed on one side only, the side away from the house. The damage ranged from one tire to four, the last belonging to a landscape worker who saw his car lose two tires on his car and two additional tires on his trailer. Of course, many people carry high deductibles on their insurance and now face big unexpected payments. Police estimate the damage at more than four thousand dollars.
The damage took place on Glasgow and Willis streets, West End and Glenburn avenues. Amy Cannon, one of the victims, said it must have happened after midnight. That’s when she arrived home after work and parked her car in front of the house. In the morning, she faced the problem.
Who did it? Lt. Justin Todd of the Cambridge Police says every summer a small group of juveniles select a destructive activity that may mean wicked “fun” to them but is costly to residents. The loss of tires could well mean the loss of work. One summer, It was a rash of breaking into cars, another year it was BB guns, and this past week, it has been the keying of cars and the slashing of tires.
Police have made arrests in the past but victims say the juveniles go to court and their punishment is restitution. One victim complains that he hasn’t received a penny and letters to officials go unanswered. Cameras, deer cameras, and work programs instead of monetary restitution have been suggested by some to help solve a problem that could cause real trouble for Cambridge, like vigilantism, and economic consequences.
More police will be on the streets, but even if arrests are made, both citizens and police officers may be frustrated at the court outcomes. Still, says Lt. Todd, “Officers will do our jobs,” He asks residents to call the police if they see anything. The vandalism, according to Lt. Todd is random, not targeted at anyone in particular. So if you see something, say something, not to your neighbor, but call the cops.

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