Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Tires slashed at 16 sites in UA area over weekend

19 flats found on Humane Borders vehicles

A vandal or vandals with a knife flattened tires at 16 places over the weekend, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

Humane Borders, a nonprofit organization that maintains emergency water tanks in the desert near the Mexico border, was among the victims.

Douglas Ruopp, the organization’s operations manager, found 19 flat tires on four trucks and a Chevrolet Suburban belonging to the organization when he went to its parking lot on East Speedway Boulevard near North Euclid Avenue near the University of Arizona campus around dawn Saturday.

“I pulled up and all the trucks were low,” Ruopp said. “The tires were completely flat.”

Officer Charles Rydzak, a Tucson police spokesman, said Ruopp reported the incident at 5:20 a.m.

Rydzak said 15 other people in the neighborhood surrounding Humane Borders called police to report they had been hit by someone flattening tires with a knife Saturday. The number of tires flattened in the surrounding neighborhood was not available.

There are no suspects, Rydzak said.

Damage at Humane Borders was estimated at $3,500, Rydzak said.

All the tires have been replaced, Ruopp said.

Volunteers with Humane Borders chipped in with pledges for some donations, but the organization still needs $1,800 to pay off all the new tires, he said.

“What we have is a big credit card bill,” he said.

Volunteer Pam Gordon, in an e-mail, said donations can be made by going to Humane Borders Web site – www.humaneborders.org/ – and clicking on the PayPal button on the left side of the screen. Ruopp said the tires run about $200 each. Gordon said each tire had been stabbed in the sidewall, making repair impossible.

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