PORTLAND – Someone is vandalizing vehicles in Northeast Portland by slashing tires. Portland police said the problem started back in May but it appears to be getting worse.
Mary Louise Ingelhardt who lives in the neighborhood even left a note that reads, “Please don't stab my tires again. This is mean. Thank you!”
She posted the note after someone punctured the tire on her SUV right in front of her home. Her temporary spare is all she has for now. She just spent the $300 she needs for a new tire on flowers at her home.
Then, a nearby tire store alerted her that she wasn't alone. Someone at the store told her they were seeing 50 to 60 of the puncture incidents every week.
Portland police confirmed someone was puncturing tires through the sidewalls with some kind of tire-destroying needle.
Reports of mysterious tire punctures started in two months ago and show no sign of slowing down. The police bureau’s crime analysis unit built a map that shows most puncture incidents have been in Northeast Portland.
“While I was filling out the report, another neighbor came over and said did you get pinned? I said ‘pinned,’ is there now a verb for this,” Ingelhardt said.
At least four vehicles within a block of Ingelhardt had tires slashed in the past week. One victim who originally contacted Newschannel 8 about the tire slashing was hit twice. She declined to be interviewed because of fears that she might be targeted a third time.
It turns out all four victims drive large SUVs or trucks.
“Maybe it’s some vendetta against large vehicles—SUVs, trucks minivans, whatever, who knows?” Ingelhardt said.
Portland police said cars have been hit as well. The one common denominator is all the victims were parked in the street.
“This is a big problem. We have to find out what's going on. It's very much not Portland,” Ingelhardt said.
Folks in Northeast Portland are starting to spread the word about this expensive form of vandalism. Neighborhood watch groups are also getting involved.
KGW reporter Wayne Havrelly contributed to this report.