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St. Albans car tires slashed in holiday vandalism spree

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Police have not made an arrest in the incident but were asking anyone with information to call 1-800-577-TIPS.

Victims of the tire slashings, many of whom discovered their tires were flat as they left for work in the morning, were unnerved by the malicious act.

"I was not happy. I'll tell you that," said Stephon Leonard of 119-59 178th St., who had all the tires on his Ford Explorer knifed by the vandals. "I know what I'd do if I found out who it was."

Several houses down the block, the Thimas family, at 119-78 178th St., awakened on New Year's day to find that their car and van had slashed tires.

"It'll cost us," Miseal Thimas said. "There were four tires slashed, and that's going to be expensive."

On Friday, there were still dozens of cars in the neighborhood parked on the streets with tires flattened.

"They did it to any kind of car," said Stewart Stark, who lives at 119-43 178th St. "They got the expensive cars, and they even got my grandfather's car and it's a junker."

Residents said they did not know what motive the vandals might have had or why they struck their neighborhood.

"There was no pattern to it," Leonard said. "It was just a random act of violence. I think it happened because the police don't patrol this neighborhood enough."

Some residents said they think the incident was related to New Year's festivities.

"I think it was kids or some people who were drunk," said a woman at 178th St., who declined to give her name.

Still, some victims of the tire slashings said the act of vandalism, while it ruined their tires, did not deflate their optimism for the new year.

"You know what I thought? It could have been worse," Leonard said. "Tires can be replaced."

Reach reporter Tom Nicholson by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 157.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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