Monday, January 3, 2011

Residents hope to track tire slasher

Updated: Sunday, 02 Jan 2011, 11:54 PM CST
Published : Sunday, 02 Jan 2011, 5:54 PM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Parking your car overnight in the Hyde Park neighborhood just north of the University of Texas campus will make you potential prey for a tire slasher.

Over the past 15 years, the person behind these crimes has not been caught.

Now, area residents are taking matters into their own hands.

"Well it is just really frustrating when you know he is on a rampage and you go to bed not knowing whether you are going to wake up with two tires slashed, that you are not going to be able to get to work," said Carol Jackson, an area resident who has had two of her car hit by the slasher."

She is one of dozens of victims.

"This man is terrorizing us," Jackson said.

The Hyde Park Neighborhood Association is looking to collect funds from victims like Jackson to put toward collecting evidence and possibly trailing this suspect.

Association President Lisa Harris told KXAN they hope to collect $5,000 and the association will match what is collected.

If approved, this would allocate $10,000 toward catching the person responsible and be the first time residents have banded together on this matter.

"People are very frustrated," said Harris.? "You can imagine if someone is having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on replacement tires in a year."

Harris would not disclose many details pertaining to the plan to catch the perp, but told KXAN residents have met with a security consultant.

"We may have cameras, but we do not want to say too much because we don't know if he watches the news," Harris explained.

An arrest has never been made in the case, but neighbors have identified a person-of-interest.

Harris and Jackson believe the tire slasher is a homeless man living in the area.

Residents have contacted Austin Police for help in case in the past.

"It is going to take more effort than the police have resources for," Jackson, who sympathizes with police, added.

The neighborhood association has even started a web site that tracks the tires that have been slashed and lists monetary damage.

Resident are meeting Monday at 7 p.m. to vote on the allocation of money.

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