Allentown Tire Vandalism Outside the Norm, Police Say, As Investigation Continues
Help Available for Those Who Cannot Pay
This past Saturday night/Sunday morning, Allentown residents–primarily on College, Mariner, Virginia, and North Streets–were victims of an extraordinary act of irrational vandalism. Police took over 100 statements from residents and guests of these streets who reported that their tires were punctured overnight. Based on reports from victims, police estimate that the damage was inflicted between the hours of 10 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday.
Police investigators have assured the Association that, although the extent of the vandalism is outside the norm for such activity, it is regrettably common for this type of vandalism to occur in neighborhoods across the city, as well as in suburban towns. Further assurance has been made that the damage is senseless and random and is not directed at any individual or group. Unfortunately for victims, the perpetrator chose the affected streets for seemingly indiscriminate reasons. Further, the extent of the damage varied from vehicle to vehicle with no apparent pattern.
The Association commends the efforts of Buffalo police who, beginning early Sunday assigned a lieutenant, district supervisors, community police officers and several patrol officers to investigate. Police assessed the extent of the vandalism as best they could, took reports by phone and in person from affected residents who were outside repairing the damage and changing tires. Officers interviewed many residents gathering information on who may have seen or heard the possible perpetrator. Police officers also spent much of the day going door to door asking if individuals had any information to provide and asking for access to private security cameras that may have captured an image of the criminal at work. It is not known if the vandalism was committed by a single individual or by multiple persons.
Possible Compensation Assistance
While most people changed their tires on Sunday, most also had to pay for repair or replacement. For those who are financially incapable or unprepared to pay for this unexpected expense, the New York State Office of Victim Services (formerly known as the Crime Victims Board) may be able to help. Individuals who face financial hardship may apply for compensation of Loss of Essential Personal Property if the loss is not covered by insurance.
If you believe you are eligible for compensation assistance, you may download the Victim Services Claim Form here. To apply, you will need to fill out the form to mail to the Office of Victim Services. You will need to include a copy of a police report indicating that your tires were damaged, correspondence with your insurance company indicating denial of a claim or of your deductible and any receipts for expenses directly related to repair or replacement of your tires.
Mail the completed from with copies of your police report, receipts and other documentation to NY Office of Victim Services, AE Smith Building, 80 S. Swan Street, Albany, NY 12210-8002.
Child and Family Services acts as a local representative for the Office of Victim Services. You can call CFS at 716-884-6002.