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70 tire slashings reported in S.C., one arrested

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some 70 South Charleston residents have reported slashed tires in recent days and police had a suspect in custody Monday evening.

South Charleston officers were met Sunday morning with 33 reports from the Spring Hill area. Three days earlier, 37 people reported slashed tires across town.

"It's just a random tire slashing," Assistant Police Chief Bob Houck said. "Last week it was in the east hills part of town and this week it's in the west end."

Police believe the damage reported Thursday morning occurred Wednesday night, and that Sunday's damage likely occurred Saturday night. Houck said a few more vandalisms were reported later in the day Sunday after more residents noticed the damage.

David Williams, 20, of Third Avenue, was arrested Monday afternoon in connection to the slashings, Patrolman J.K. Halstead said. He was charged with felony destruction of property.

The weekend incidents occurred in the area of Kentucky and Ohio streets near Bridgeview Elementary and the Dunbar Toll Bridge. The incidents reported Thursday occurred in the area of Glendale Ave and King Street.

Detectives reviewed surveillance video from a Spring Hill physician's office where vandals slashed tires in the parking lot. Each vehicle had one to two tires slashed.

Halstead wrote in the criminal complaint filed against Williams that Cpl. J.F. Amburgey had spoken to Williams in the 5100 block of Ohio Street at about 3:25 a.m. Sunday.

The patrolman obtained video surveillance that showed Williams puncturing tires on vehicles. Amburgey identified the suspect in the video as Williams on Monday, the complaint said.

Halstead confirmed police were looking for more suspects but wouldn't say how many.

Houck said it's been a while since such widespread vandalism has been reported in the city. More common are incidents where vandals get in parked vehicles and rifle through for change and valuables.

"I don't think it's a vendetta-type thing, I think it's people out there being stupid thinking they can get away with it," Houck said. "When it's like this — this widespread — it's just random.

"They're just walking down the street jabbing tires as they go."

Williams is being held at South Central Regional Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond.

Additional patrol officers have been added to evening shifts, Houck said. Anyone with information may call 304-744-5951.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.craig@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.


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