A tire-slashing vandal who tormented car-owners in a Queens neighborhood has been arrested, the district attorney said.
The sneaky slasher moved under the cover of darkness, puncturing about 44 tires on 27 different vehicles in one night, according to Queens DA Melinda Katz. Dee Lazersmith was arrested Wednesday and hit with a slew of criminal mischief charges for the alleged crime spree in the early morning hours of Aug. 7, Katz announced.
According to a criminal complaint, Lazersmith struck between the hours of 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. to pierce the tires of the vehicles parked on 42nd Avenue between 213th Street and Corporal Kennedy Street in Bayside. The estimated total damage to all vehicles was more than $13,000, the DA said.
NYPD officers went door-to-door the afternoon after the slashings, informing residents of any damage and looking for potential clues.
One woman said she had just had to replace her tires for a second time, getting her car returned to her following another incident left her tires slashed.
“I don’t know what to do, I’m paranoid to park it. I bought a warranty on the tires so if it happens again I don’t have to pay,” she said, noting she was out $1,200 after the second slashing. “I was furious. I really feel unsafe.”
The suspect was also allegedly seen on surveillance video walking along the street, then stopping and bending down near the tires of a number of parked cars. During their investigation, police recovered a folding knife near the rear passenger door of Lazersmith’s car, with what appeared to be rubber (possibly from a tire) on the tip of the blade.
Katz said Lazersmith “caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage by going on a slashing spree alongside a quiet residential street. More than two dozen victims must now pay to repair and replace the vandalized vehicle tires. This senseless nuisance will not be tolerated in Queens County.”
If convicted, Lazersmith faces up to seven years in prison.
Manhattan had its own tire slasher earlier this year. A man was seen on surveillance video slashing at least 40 tires in one neighborhood. Other tires were slashed in Chelsea hours later. It’s not clear if cops thought the same man was behind them.