SALT LAKE CITY — Police were looking Friday for vandals who damaged dozens of cars.
Many vehicle owners in Salt Lake City's Wasatch Hollow neighborhood woke up Friday morning to find their tires slashed, or their cars keyed.
“I got up because my neighbors were knocking on my door, telling me that the entire street had been wiped out,” Greg Mooney said. “Some (jerk) had been walking through the neighborhood, slashing everybody’s tires.”
Mooney had multiple tires slashed on his truck. He said he had just purchased new tires — the slashed ones had only logged about 500 miles.
“Everybody’s working class and they don’t expect to have to drop $500 on two new tires,” he said.
Salt Lake police detective Veronica Montoya said within the first couple hours of the investigation, officers had uncovered as many as 40 cars with damage. Montoya said the numbers were likely to increase as more people discovered problems with their cars.
The crime spree extended across a wide area, from 1400 South to 1700 South, between 700 East and 900 East.
Amanda Poulson’s Mini Cooper had its driver’s side door keyed.
“You don’t want to wake up to this in the morning,” Poulson said. “Makes it hard to get to work. You’re late to work. Everybody’s kind of frazzled walking up and down the street, wondering what’s going on.”
Even workers who are used to fixing damaged tires were surprised by the extent of the vandalism when they arrived in the neighborhood.
“We couldn’t believe how many cars and streets were affected,” said Lee Sadler with Burt Brothers Tire & Service. “It’s just sad whenever this kind of thing happens. We’re all working for a living. We’re all trying to make a buck. And because somebody doesn’t have anything better to do, this neighborhood is waking up to find out the entire neighborhood’s been vandalized.”
The trucks and SUVs with 4-wheel drive — even if they didn’t have all tires punctured — were likely going to need all their tires replaced because the tires have to be a matching set, Sadler said.
Detectives were trying to establish a timeline for the spree. The first call came into dispatchers at 7 a.m., Montoya said.
People whose cars sustained damage were being asked to file police reports online at slcpd.com/contact-us/online-report/ .
Montoya said because of the extent of the vandalism, it is possible whoever is responsible could eventually face felony charges. “Damaged property is considered to be on a price-value scale, so yes, it could go into a felony charge, definitely,” she said.
Anybody who was in the affected area and saw something suspicious late Thursday or early Friday is asked to call Salt Lake police at 801-799-3000.