Reward posted in tire slashings

Pat Redmond, aka Mrs. Pat, Heart of Philly community liaison, left, and Theresa McBride, a resident of Teesdale Street, center, chat with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. McBride's tires were slashed for a second time. Ramsey visited the scene Monday morning to tour the Mayfair neighborhood at Teesdale and Aldine Streets, near Cottman Avenue. Several cars were damaged after another round of tire slashings overnight. ( Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer )
Pat Redmond, aka Mrs. Pat, Heart of Philly community liaison, left, and Theresa McBride, a resident of Teesdale Street, center, chat with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. McBride's tires were slashed for a second time. Ramsey visited the scene Monday morning to tour the Mayfair neighborhood at Teesdale and Aldine Streets, near Cottman Avenue. Several cars were damaged after another round of tire slashings overnight. ( Alejandro A. Alvarez / Staff Photographer )
Posted: March 13, 2012

A $7,500 reward is being offered for the arrest of whoever is responsible for slicing the tires of at least 55 cars in Northeast Philadelphia since December.

The reward was announced today just hours after Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey vowed to step up the hunt for the vandal or vandals during a visit to a Holmesburg neighborhood where tires on at least eight vehicles had been slashed overnight.

Police said an examination of the tires from five separate sprees indicated the same blade had been used, leading them to believe the one individual or the same group was responsible.

The Police Department is putting up $2,500 of the reward money with the Fraternal Order of Police putting up the remaining $5,000.

In Holmesburg earlier, Ramsey had raised the possibility of posting a reward to shake loose information.

"Somebody knows something," Ramsey said. "These things don't happen and it's kept totally quiet. There's some idiot somewhere bragging about it."

The commissioner said police had stepped up patrols in the area and residents had been very cooperative, even launching citizens patrols.

"Apparently that's not enough," he said, adding later, "that doesn't mean we give up."

Noting it can cost $500 to $600 to replace a set of tires, Ramsey said: "Who can afford to have this happen? I certainly couldn't. Who can do that over and over again?"

"Once [the vandals are] caught - and we will catch them - not only do they need to do serious jail time, they need to pay restitution."

"It just makes no sense at all and we've got to do something to stop it," the commissioner said.

The latest vandalism was discovered early today on the 4000 blocks of Aldine and Teasdale Streets in the Holmesburg section.

In the Northeast, tires on 55 vehicles have been slashed in five separate incidents, police said.

On Friday, owners of 11 cars awoke to find their tires had been slashed in Kensington, which is in the Police Department's East Division.

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