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PORTLAND Reports of punctured tires have skyrocketed across Portland over the past three months, according to police.

Police said this has been one of the most prolific investigations they ve had in a while, with well over 100 reports of people s tires being punctured since May alone.

Investigators added that it s likely there were even more victims who did not report the crime to police.

The vandals have been using something small, like a hypodermic needle, to puncture the tires, police said, and they re striking cars parked on streets at night.

For the victims, it s a costly crime. The vandals have been puncturing the side walls of the tires, which means they can t be repaired -- only replaced.

Fred and Linda Stovel had to spend $165 to get a new front tire after someone vandalized their car sometime Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.

It s really kind of a sociopath that thinks that s fun, or they have some purpose in doing it, Fred said.

Brett Baumgarte with Sandy Blvd. Tire & Auto said he s replaced roughly 100 tires that were punctured in the past 6 weeks alone. I ve heard rumors and stuff of this happening in other parts of the country, but this is the worst I ve seen it here, he said.

Based on the type of damage and sheer number of cases, police suspect that the same person or group is to blame.

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KGW reporter Mark Hanrahan contributed to this report.

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