Brookings police are seeking information regarding the slashing of about 40 tires on cars throughout the downtown core Tuesday night.
According to Detective Donnie Dotson, several cars in the Bernie Bishop Mazda parking lots on Wharf Street, others parked at a county building south of that and others on Oxford and Cypress streets were victimized.
The car dealership was most affected, likely because there are so many cars on one lot, Dotson said. Owner Rick Bishop said he didn't know how many tires were slashed.
"I don't know; I didn't count them," he said. "Too many. All I care about is getting the cars fixed, paying the deductible, be glad this doesn't happen often, get the person and get on with life."
Police are actively pursuing the criminal mischief using video surveillance footage from various nearby businesses and taking latent fingerprints from the cars. Although the city doesn't often experience tire-slashing incidents, it still a concern, Dotson said.
"We're taking it quite seriously," Dotson said. "It's going to a big financial hit (for car owners). There's the deductible, and the insurance companies are going to be out a substantial amount of money. It's an unfortunate event."
Victims called the police station throughout the day Wednesday to report the incidents.
"Hopefully, the surveillance videos will provide us with something," Dotson said. "We did recover some latent fingerprints. We don't know if they belong to the owners, but you don't generally put your hands on someone else's car."
The police department has several officers working on the case and an investigating officer coordinating activities.
Anyone with information is encouraged to anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 541-412-0989 or toll-free at 888-974-0000 to help to identify the perpetrator(s). The organization offers rewards up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction in such cases.