Youths charged in car vandalism near city schools headquarters

Tires on 11 vehicles are cut in midday incident

March 29, 2000|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

Police arrested four Southern High School students yesterday after tires were slashed on at least 11 vehicles parked near Baltimore school headquarters in Barclay.

The juveniles -- three ninth-graders and one 11th-grader -- were arrested in the first block of W. 20th St. about 3 p.m. and charged with destruction of property. They were booked at the Northern District Juvenile Processing Center and later released.

Police said the suspects, whose names are being withheld because of their ages, slashed tires on vehicles parked in the 1900 block of N. Calvert St., just west of school headquarters, between 2: 30 p.m. and 2: 50 p.m.

"People were furious," said Officer Doug Gibson, a patrolman in the Northern District. "Did you ever get ready to go home from work and see you have a flat tire? If you have two flat tires, you are in trouble."

Denise Saulsbury, a schools employee, was one of the victims. She said she left work at 4 p.m. and discovered the vandals had slashed a tire on her Toyota 4-Runner. "This is absolutely ridiculous. You pay for parking, you get ticketed, and you get your tires slashed."

The vandals also scratched the slogan "LAFAETTE L&B" across the trunk of a 1998 Lexus, which also had one of its tires slashed, school employees said.

Gibson said he arrested the juveniles after witnesses pointed out the youths. Officers recovered a knife with a 4-inch blade, believed to have been used to slash the tires, during a search of the suspects, Gibson said.

Almost all of the vandalized vehicles belonged to school employees, Gibson said. Damage is estimated at $900.

Police said they know of no motive for the vandalism.

A school police spokesman said vehicles parked in off-street lots were not damaged.

Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to call Officer Doug Gibson at 410-396-2455.

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