UPDATE: Police have identified the suspect as 35-year-old Brandon Thompson of Hayward.
According to police, Thompson has family living in the apartment complex where the crime happened.
Police said the crime is a felony because the estimated damage exceeded $5,000.
A resident of Parkside Commons Apartment Homes, located at 900 143rd Ave., called police to report a man slashing the tires of parked cars at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday. The resident had awoken to the sound of what he thought was a gas leak, until he looked outside and witnessed the suspect in action.
Police responded shortly thereafter and determined that the suspect had intentionally deflated the tires of 16 vehicles using a large knife or a similar tool to quickly puncture and deflate the tires, according to San Leandro police. Initially, however, officers were unable to locate the suspect.
Eventually, investigators were able to gather enough information to name a 35-year-old man with family living in the apartment complex as a suspect.
At 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, detectives found and arrested the suspect in the area of B and Third streets in Hayward on suspicion of vandalism. The suspect’s motive remains under investigation.
“Unfortunately, many residents in this complex were victimized for a reason that we don’t have the answer for yet,” San Leandro police spokesman Lt. Robert McManus said in a statement. “Our detectives will interview the suspect and try to answer that question.”
The suspect is expected to be interviewed by detectives, booked into Santa Rita Jail, and appear in court on Wednesday afternoon, police said.
SAN LEANDRO (KRON) — Residents at an East bay apartment complex wake up to find their tires slashed and multiple vehicles vandalized.
“Thirty cars here that got their tires popped,” victim Robert King said.
That was the scene at the Parkside Commons Apartment Complex in San Leandro. According to a note from the management office, someone vandalized vehicles around 4:30 a.m. Sunday.
“I found my truck with two popped tires,” King said.
King said he just bought his new pick up truck
“I’m feeling pretty bad about it,” King said. “I mean you work every day, you come to where you feel it is a secure environment for your family to live, and something like this happens.”
Another resident, George Frontier, said the vandals victimized him too.
“It’s pretty scary what’s going on,” Frontier said.
Frontier points out a whole row of vehicles with tires slashed, including his.
“I’ve been here for about a year, and I was thinking (of) renewing my lease, but now, I’m having second thoughts about that.”
San Leandro police said so far, they have been contacted by 16 residents about their vehicles being vandalized, and that calls are still coming in. Management will only say that they are cooperating with the police investigation.
In the meantime, residents in the working class community said the cost of repairing damaged tires will be a considerable hardship for them.
“You know what, that takes a hit on everybody’s pockets,” resident Alvin Gallo said. “Rent is up, especially the way the economy is.”
King said he agrees.
“Very expensive tires, about $400 a piece”
Police said they have arrested a suspect in the case.