3 will be charged in slashing of tires on 66 cars

January 16, 1998|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF

In a surprising break in a recent wave of tire-slashing in western Anne Arundel County and Prince George's County, a Laurel woman confessed yesterday to cutting the tires on 66 cars while out driving with two friends the night of Jan. 7, county police said.

Police said they will charge the 21-year-old woman, her boyfriend and an unidentified passenger today or tomorrow with 66 counts of destruction of property, 42 counts from Anne Arundel and 24 from Prince George's, Detective Perry Sauers said.

The paperwork involved in that many criminal counts prevented immediate charging of the group, Sauers said.

The Sun does not identify a suspect before formal charging by police.

A security guard at a Laurel Wal-Mart store tipped off police after he caught three people on videotape cutting tires in the store parking lot.

The woman told Sauers later that the three were seeking revenge on her boyfriend's former boss at the Wal-Mart.

The security guard recognized the former employee and called Sauers, who had not held out much hope that police would solve the case.

The woman confessed that the parking lot slashings gave the three the idea of also taking revenge on other people elsewhere who had angered them, the detective said.

"They began discussing people they were going to get, and went out and damaged their vehicles," Sauers said. "To make it look like they weren't singling those people out, they hit other cars in the area."

Tire-slashing has angered more than 100 residents over the past week in Laurel, Maryland City, Severn and in Prince George's NTC County, just over the county line.

Police said the three might be responsible only for the slashings Jan. 7.

Sauers said finding even one suspect is an accomplishment in a crime that is fleeting by nature and traditionally attracts young, joy-riding offenders who get tired of it easily and move on.

"It was a surprise to solve this piece of it so quickly," he said. "It was almost too easy."

Police initially were looking for a dark-colored minivan, which might have been involved in the other cases, but the woman drives a dark-colored, four-door Saturn, Sauers said.

Pub Date: 1/16/98

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