View Full Version : Tires were slashed last night....

Matt Hutchinson
09-27-2008, 11:13 AM
I really need to get this off my chest right now. I woke up this morning to find that the tires on my wife's car were slashed. Our car was up in our driveway, not on the street, and all four tired were punctured. Not what I would call a 'random act', yet there is nothing that has ever happened with our neighbors that would warrant this kind of reaction. The first two years at our house have gone so smoothly until this summer.

It's so discouraging. We have a very low income, and this is a loner car from my father-in-law. He will be covering the cost, but this isn't the first time this car has been damaged when parked overnight. I feel like every time we get back on our feet we keep getting kicked back down. Events like this just bring anxiety and paranoia into everyday life, things which I struggle with in the first place. Granted, I live in a city neighborhood which has a lot more crime than typical suburbia, but it's still really getting to me. And with my credit and the current housing market it's gonna quite a while before we can move (which was our plan when buying this house in the first place).

I am feeling so crummy.



Ken Fitzgerald
09-27-2008, 11:25 AM

My sincere sympathies! I don't understand people who feel that damaging other people's property is fun, funny or justifiable.

It's not just related to living in an urban area either.

I live in a small town, population around 31, 000. Within a 10 mile radius if you include other towns...population maybe 65,000.

2 weeks ago so gang-member wannabes decided that they needed to mark their turf....on the side of my 5th wheel trailer. Now it is parked parallel to the street but still.....

It'll cost me $500 out of my pocket and I'm not sure how much out of my insurance companies pocket as the siding will have to be replaced on the trailer.

Sick minds have a sick sense of humor or right and wrong.

Phyllis Meyer
09-27-2008, 11:31 AM

My heart does go out to you and family! Things like this are so hard to comprehend. I am proud of you for even reaching out to vent (so many keep these things inside and that causes even more problems). The economy has made life so difficult for so many, and I will be praying that your family will overcome this and be able to get back up on your feet!


JohnT Fitzgerald
09-27-2008, 11:49 AM
UGH! sorry to hear that....I don't understand why people feel the need to do things like that.

Robert Parrish
09-27-2008, 11:49 AM
I can sympathize with you because we are having vandal problems in my neighborhood. Last week someone tried to steal the back flow precentor (they are stealing them for the copper) from my front yard. I heard them at 2:30 AM and turned on the lights. They then took off tearing up my lawn in the process. I live on a corner and have had my grass torn up several times this year by vehicles taking a short cut across my lawn. The sheriff's office told me that if I installed anything that would damage their car or injure the occupants that I could be sued. It seems that the criminals have more rights than the homeowner!

JohnT Fitzgerald
09-27-2008, 11:53 AM
I'd consult with someone other than the local sherrif on that. I mean, a board with nails on it strategically placed could do wonders for those drivers "attitudes".

if it were me - I'd make a nice little "fence" - purely for decoration, and clearly meant to be in my yard. Maybe some posts with a rope or decorative chain draped in between.....but I'd make it out of some sort of metal beams sunk in 4' of concrete and then dressed up with wood. I imagine it would be an irresistable "target", and I don't see a car winning that battle.

Mark Hix
09-27-2008, 12:14 PM
That is just mean. I see hundreds of these things every year and never have understood why people do it. They rarely ever get caught. Probably not even someone you know. If you have comprehensive coverage, it will cover it so you are only out the deductible.

Frank Hagan
09-27-2008, 12:30 PM
Robert, you can find some way to landscape to help prevent "drive overs". I live on a corner too (actually, a "peninsula" with streets on three sides), and we found out after we bought the house that our living room once housed a brand new BMW (teenager didn't quite make the corner in dad's new car). I plan to include some nice big boulders when we re-do the front yard. A rock garden is perfectly acceptable landscaping.

Last Wednesday night I thought we had a bad case of water hammer going on at 1 AM, then it sounded like something fell in the bathroom. Getting up, I found our house had been pelted with bright pink paintballs, two on the front, three on the side, and 10 or so on the back. Luckily, they wash off very easily.

But I have to sympathize with Matt; tires are expensive. Not to mention all the other things that come along with this kind of thing ... the feelings of anger, lack of control and wondering just how the heck you can protect your family from this kind of thing.

Maybe motion detector lights would help (mine go off with the dogs going outside too, but at least anyone walking near them gets illuminated.)

Matt Hutchinson
09-27-2008, 12:34 PM
Thanks for all the support. My wife and I have been calling places all morning, and finally found the right price for towing and tires.

We filed a police report over the phone, and that's about all that's gonna happen. They stated that slashings are usually a result of ill feelings, but I can't imagine what it would be from.

Our deductibly is $250, but my in-laws (the owners of the car) are going to pay for it. I feel bad, but I am thankful for having such a generous family.

Anywho, I really appreciate your comments. My peace of mind is slowly coming back.


P.S. The houses are so packed in here that illuminating my driveway would mean lighting my neighbor's childrens' bedrooms, but I am definitely considering lighting options.

JohnT Fitzgerald
09-27-2008, 12:43 PM
You can always put the lights on a motion sensor.

Tom Godley
09-27-2008, 12:47 PM
I does give an uneasy feeling - long after the financial pain is gone

The auto vandalism was so bad in parts of Philadelphia in the early 90's that I finally moved - but my car was parked out on the street --- UNLOCKED! -- they would never check to see. At least in NYC they check the door first!!!

It is another matter when it is in your driveway -- I had a shed broken into and all manner of outdoor power equipment stolen.

It changes your whole way of looking at your property. Sorry

Ken Fitzgerald
09-27-2008, 1:05 PM

My carport and backdoor into the house is probably 15 feet from my neighbors son's bedroom. I put a 60 watt lamp on the light near my backdoor and a 65 watt floodlight on the carport, aimed towards the street. The flood is controlled by a motion sensor aimed at the street. It doesn't come on unless someone comes onto the carport.

Robert Parrish
09-27-2008, 1:41 PM
I have explored all the options but I live in a deed restricted community and the restrictions do not allow fences in the front yard or large boulders although I see some neighbors have them. I was going to paint some 2x4's green and shoot nails in them but the sheriff said that may cause them to wreck and run into a pond and I would be responsible. I do have motion lights and cameras all around. The cameras don't work at night. These guys don't seem to be bothered by security measures as the backflow is directly under a street light! We have a new Castle Law here in Florida that would allow me to shoot them if they provoked me in a confrontation. But I don't I would want to shoot someone just for running over my grass. The sad thing is that the copper value is about $10.00 but to replace the backflow is about $500.00.

John Shuk
09-27-2008, 2:02 PM
That just sucks. No answers for you but it really blows.

Dennis Peacock
09-27-2008, 3:22 PM
Man....all this bad news and all because of our society. What's going to happen when fuel (and copper) prices go even higher?? More theft and stupid stuff??

I sure wish we could get the "old America" back.

David DeCristoforo
09-27-2008, 4:46 PM
Totally bites. What bites most is that the perps get nothing for their trouble other than some sicko kick from effing with someone. At least when they steal your tires you can figure that someone out there will get a deal.

You know what's getting to be a "big time" thing now? Stealing catalytic converters! My neighbor went out to start his car the other morning and it sounded like the muffler was gone. When he looked under the car, the cat had been neatly cut out! Seems that they contain platinum or something that can be reclaimed.

Anyway, the motion triggered lights seems like a good idea.

Matt Hutchinson
09-27-2008, 6:50 PM
Well, $575 later our car has new tires. Unfortunately, the tires on this particular car are pricey. Also, I found out that my other car wasn't unscathed. It appeared fine, but the front right tire had indeed been stabbed. So now I need to get another 2 tires. What at first I hoped was bad luck/dumb kids now seems to be dumb kids actually targetting our stuff.

All I know is that I don't have energy to fight junk like this. It makes me uneasy, and I feel like me and my wife's future are being messed with. (How our finances/lives go now have a great effect on the next several months due to our low income.) That's what bothers me the most. My greatest hope is that whoever did this has gotten it out of their system. Unfortunately, there is really nothing to be done but hope that tomorrow I wake up and all the tires are intact.

But I suppose the one thing we can do is pray for those who felt it necessary to do this.


P.S. Thanks you for such support. Even though I don't really 'know' you all, you have helped to keep things in perspective.

Eric Larsen
09-27-2008, 7:29 PM
My neighbor is having problems with someone siphoning his gas tank. I think it's the construction workers who are building six more houses about 100 feet away. He thinks its neighborhood kids.

I think the main problem is that he has a one-car garage and three cars. He wants to put video surveillance in :eek:. I think that's a bit extreme for $40 worth of gasoline.

Chris Kennedy
09-27-2008, 8:35 PM
You have my sympathy.

I know that it doesn't compare, but our welcome to our new neighborhood was to have our cars rifled through a couple of months after we bought our house.

I would seriously question what the local sheriff has said. In fact, I would recommend you consult with a lawyer (which, of course, requires money :mad:). Legally and morally, I don't think you can go placing mantraps in your yard, but seriously, someone coming onto your property with malicious intent is another matter. And as your sheriff pointed out, these are likely the actions of someone targeting you for whatever insane/inane/unknown reason.

On the bright side, think of it this way -- your in-laws like you. That has to be worth a lot.



Clifford Mescher
09-27-2008, 8:55 PM
[quote=Eric Larsen;935441]My neighbor is having problems with someone siphoning his gas tank. I think it's the construction workers who are building six more houses about 100 feet away. He thinks its neighborhood kids.

I think the main problem is that he has a one-car garage and three cars. He wants to put video surveillance in :eek:. I think that's a bit extreme for $40 worth of gasoline.[/quote

I know his feelings. Not the money as much as the feeling of being violated. Clifford

Doug Shepard
09-27-2008, 9:23 PM
Sorry to hear about this totally senseless damage. I'm a bit curious as to what make of cars these are. Sadly, it's not totally unheard of in this area for stuff like this not occuring by teens, but by disgruntled unemployed auto workers targeting foreign cars. I know there is some auto related work in GR and just wonder if it might be something similar going on in your case.

Peter Pedisich
09-27-2008, 9:32 PM
I sure wish we could get the "old America" back.


Darren Null
09-27-2008, 9:49 PM
Much as I hate to find myself agreeing with the police, slashed tyres are usually a result of a grudge match of some kind. The car is being targeted, so it may be somebody your father-in-law has got on the wrong side of.

Tyre slashers are often young and usually not too bright (let's face it, they're risking anything between trespass charges plus a possible weapons charge to being shot for an act that doesn't really get them anywhere). It's an act of anger, usually, so whoever did it did it for a reason, however minimal that reason may be. Could be something as stupid as not tipping enough for a delivered pizza.

Apart from randomly popping easily-accessible tyres to test out a new knife, having your tyres in particular slashed is an indicator that somebody is fundamentally pissed off about something. It may be someone your father-in-law has annoyed; it may have been somebody you have annoyed inadvertantly, or it may be a case of mistaken identity. Or even the car's previous owner. The fact that it was done on Saturday night does suggest that alcohol was involved. Was the previous damage done over the weekend too?

I don't want to spread alarm, but if it were me in your shoes, I would be waiting for episode #3 in the series and preparing for it, rather than just hoping for the best.
The way I'd do it will cost a little money, but not too much. Plus maybe F-I-L might chip in because it's got to be cheaper than repairing the car. Maybe the insurance company too.

There's security webcam software you can get that you hook up to a/some webcams that compares each frame to the previous one. If it detects differences in the frame, or an area of the frame (ie, something moving in the picture) it does things...sends a text message, takes a still photo, records video, whatever. They can usually upload the results to a webserver via FTP so even if your computer is lifted too, you can just log in via another computer and get the evidence. Here's one- not recommending it, it was the first one that came up in Google and it seems to have all the toys for $29:
Then you need a low-light camera or two. Some cheap and cheerful ones here:
You'll need to light the parking area, so either just leave whatever lights you have on, or get a PIR detector. Best to have the camera wherever the lights are...you'll get a clearer image and the camera will be harder to see against the lights. Plus maybe a board or two to screen the lights so it just illuminates your bit.

2xcamera (guessing) say $40
Whatever lighting you need for outside-$dunno
Extra leccy for lighting and leaving the computer on all the time-$dunno
You should be able to get sorted for less than $100 and that'll give you a good chance of nailing the scum if they come back for round 3. If nothing happens, then you'll have wasted $100, but that might be worth it for the peace of mind. You'll have computers to be twitchy for you, so you can relax a bit and get on with important stuff.

have had my grass torn up several times this year by vehicles taking a short cut across my lawn.
How about a hedge? Some of those have reasonable stopping power.

Matt Hutchinson
09-28-2008, 8:20 AM
The makes are a '96 Honda Civic and a '97 Volvo S90. The Civic is my car, but the Volvo is needed cuz my wife has Lyme Disease. She needs a realiable, comfortable, and smooth riding car cuz every jostle and bump in the road causes her pain. It's also the only car we have with handicapped parking plates.

The previous damage was done by a drunk driver who played tag with a couple cars lining my street, and that was obviously random. In this case, it would have nothign to do with my father-in-law. He doesn't live in this city and never has. So I think what has been said is accurate: no matter how trivial and stupid it may be, someone is angry about something.

Oh well, at least our tires are intact this morning. :)

Thanks you all again!


Matt Meiser
09-28-2008, 10:07 AM
Sounds like you live in the neighborhood my brother lived in while going to school in Grand Rapids and for a year or two after that. He had his car hit and vandalized a couple times.

Darren Null
09-28-2008, 10:31 AM
If it's any consolation, my old volvo was hit *7 times* in 18 months by drunk drivers -perils of living on the seafront- taking out every single panel on the car, plus a towbar through the radiator. Then it was impounded by the police for not being insured.

The car before that had a rock put through the windscreen by drunk yobbos, and was impounded by the police because it looked scruffy while I was saving up the 1000 euros for a new windscreen. By the time I found out, there was 400 euros of police charges to add, so I couldn't afford to bail it out.

I'm parking my shiny new (insured) one in a different place now. And I'm seriously thinking of wiring the bodywork up to a taser.

So you're not the only one with bad luck with cars.

Charles Seehuetter Panama City
09-28-2008, 11:56 AM

Sorry to hear about your troubles. I see and hear it all the time in these days of "no conscience" I can understand your depression and feeling of helplessness. I'm lucky to live in Florida where we can now protect our lives and property. I keep a loaded weapon in the house at all times and would not be afraid to use it if necessary. The neighbors all know it too and by doing what I'm about to suggest, it may help your situation and your neighbors. We had a problem here with things being stolen from peoples yards, carports, garages and cars. Much of it was lawn care equipment and even a riding lawnmower. My home was broken into while I was away and several items taken including $300.00 and one of my guns. The police couldn't (or wouldn't) do much and said they couldn't even get any fingerprints. I don't want to sound like a nut here as I'm not. I'm just an old retired USAF guy who is tired of low life people getting away with breaking the laws of our society and hurting others. I'm not advocating taking the law into your own hands. Just, like the ungreased wheel, squeek as loud and often as needed to get law officials to pay attention.

As with most neighborhoods in this time most of them didn't talk to each other and many didn't even know who their next door neighbors were. I've lived here for over 25 years and most of my neighbors hadn't been here near that long. I went around and visited each of the neighbors around me and on the whole street I live on. I already knew the neighbors across the street were trouble and several of them had been in jail for drugs, theft and a few other things. Getting to know each of the other neighbors a little at a time helped and I found that most of them were as concerned as I was. I asked that each of them try to keep an eye out for suspicious activity and either let me know or call the police. Make a complaint to the police and eventually they will respond. Even if they don't find anything and get irritated, at least the squad car driving the street is a deterant and besides that it's their job. Spend a little time, it costs nothing, and get to know your neighbors, their pets and children. You may be surprised at what might happen. Have a block party. If everyone pitches in the cost is minimal. By getting to know your neighbors you'll find that you'll even have someone else to talk to when you do need to talk.

I've rambled on long enough, sorry for the long post but if it gets even one person who reads this to get out and say hello to someone else and them to say hello to another person, maybe we'll get back to a time when people actually respected one another and were willing to help out. It's up to us to change attitudes.


Jim Becker
09-28-2008, 3:05 PM
Matt, this is a real bummer. Hopefully it really is just a random act of mean behavior.

I'll second the motion (pun intended) for the motion controlled flood lights if it's not practical for you to have some kind of lighting on at night. I recently started using outdoor lighting around here, despite hating it from a sleep perspective. We do not use nor do we want the kind of window coverings that would be necessary to block light since we both need light to wake up in the morning. So having light for security interferes with our sleeping comfort somewhat. But with crime creeping further and further into the country, there is little choice anymore.

Russ Filtz
09-29-2008, 8:18 AM
+1 for a low-light camera system.

Curt Harms
09-29-2008, 10:42 AM
Man....all this bad news and all because of our society. What's going to happen when fuel (and copper) prices go even higher?? More theft and stupid stuff??

I sure wish we could get the "old America" back.

I wonder if in the "old America" such problems were handled unofficially and by methods not looked kindly upon by those who tell us what we should say, think and do.

Ben Rafael
09-29-2008, 11:21 AM
How would you be responsible if someone dumped some boards with nails through them on your property without your knowledge? ;)

Craig Summers
09-29-2008, 11:33 AM
Last week I saw a cool (less than lethal) anti-pirate device MAHD-R (http://www.multi-barrier.com/specs/mahd-r.pdf). It will blow eardrums out at 500+ meters .......very very very LOUD. Might be a little pricey to protect your tires ....

Matt Hutchinson
09-30-2008, 8:04 PM
Yeah, probably not quite feasible. :)


Scott Hubl
09-30-2008, 10:28 PM
Sorry to hear of your troubles Matt.

Watch CLOSELY now that those tires have been replaced morons like that get their kicks out of coming back and hitting the New tires.
I bought one of those Harbor Freight cameras, it's color, and has built in microphone. Pretty cheap even less on sale.

I bought it just to SEE up my driveway while in the garage/shop I have it hooked up to a 13" color TV I can hear birds chirpping far off and see the mailman walking across the street delivering the neighbors mail. mounted at the peek of my roof, long driveway with garage at back of property, it works pretty well, not great at night but a little light added helps that.
I was surprized just how well it works and have had it well over a year now.

I did see at Menards they have some camera/DVR systems a 2 camera one was about $300.00 I was going to look into that one and see if I could add cameras to that system.

I live in a nice neighborhood but why wait until after the fact with a DVR with night cameras/lights you at least have the bastages on camera for the police.

ADD LIGHTS! Motion sensor lights are cheap. Your neighbors can get shades.

I only got the HF camera to see if someone pulled in the driveway while out in my shop, now I want to add cameras and more lights and Deture any theft or vandalism to my property.

Lights on does help they go to the next dark house.

Good luck.

Rich Engelhardt
10-05-2008, 8:13 AM
I've wanted a reason to buy one of those Milwaukee Big Hawg hole saw sets.

I do have a 10% off coupon for HD & a weeks vacation coming up.

I'd be up for a little game of "let's see how small a hole in a piece of plywood you can stuff a vandal through". ;)

Anyhow - motion sensor lights are the way to go. If you get one of the double light ones, you can pull one of the lights and put a screw in plug into the socket.

LOL! No, I'm not thinking of sending them a "shocking message", well, not all the way anyhow, but it does make me smile to think of it ;).

You can plug in a small radio with the volume turned up all the way.
Lights work ok, but a lot of noise rouses the whole neighborhood.

Anthony Whitesell
10-06-2008, 10:21 AM
Robart, If you can't build up (fence, boulders, etc), build down. An appropriately placed "drainage ditch" would work wonders for people that would like to "hang" out in your yard for a while, atleast until the tow truck comes.

Andy Casiello
10-07-2008, 5:03 PM
Sorry to hear about the problems you are facing. That's really distressing. Vandalism isn't always about payback - some times it's just kids out for a weird brand of "kicks".

I also live in a city. My section of the city is fairly geographically secluded, due to the amount of water all around this area. So, it's hard for vandals to drive in and out of here without being noticed. However, I have installed six cameras on my property. They have motion detection, and record when they see something moving. It's not that I have a high level of paranoia, and we've not yet had a problem here, it's just that the technology is available, and I like to feel that when I'm away there is some level of security at the house.

The cameras (Linksys brand) work without having to be hooked up to a computer. They have their own built in web servers, so I can look in on my house from anywhere on the web. (They are encrypted, so not everyone can see them of course). And they were only about $ 80 each.

I'm a technology guy, and I bought these cameras one or two at a time to play with them. Now I have six, including one that is in my shop. I can also control lights via the web, so I can turn on shop lights and see with the camera from anywhere on the Internet.

I recommend investing modest funds into the motion lights, and maybe one camera when you can afford it. Put the camera somewhere, like a window, where vandals can see it. They don't want to be recorded doing their thing, so they're more likely to move on..

Above all, know that it isn't YOU that's causing this. There's always good people and bad. We have to just do our best to deal with the bad, but unfortunately they end up causing problems for good people. Keep in touch with the police and ask for increased details in the area for a while. Good luck.

Karl Brogger
10-07-2008, 11:29 PM
I've lived in the country virtually my whole life. My neighbors, and probably the majority of the area know full well that I'm armed. I've greeted many a vehicle pulling into the driveway at odd hours with a spotlight, and a .45acp. That stuff gets around, in a good way.

Don Eddard
10-08-2008, 1:16 AM
Vandalism isn't always about payback - some times it's just kids out for a weird brand of "kicks".

Very true. Years ago I had a teen aged nephew that was arrested for random tire slashing around his neighborhood. No rhyme or reason, just thought it'd be cool to do. He's been in and out of trouble with the law ever since. Numbskull kid.