For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Mary Kusmiss, Sergeant/PIO, (510) 981-5780
For Tire Vandalism Spree
Berkeley, California (Thursday, September 08, 2011) - The City of Berkeley Police Department (BPD) has arrested the suspect responsible for vandalizing dozens of vehicle tires and spray painting a couple cars in South Berkeley and Oakland on August 31, 2011. The total number of vehicles vandalized was 74 - 61 in the City of Berkeley and 13 in the City of Oakland.
BPD Officers arrested Mandisa Monroe, 4/21/78, of Berkeley at about 12:30 a.m. on September 6, 2011 near her home. After a thoughtful and tedious investigation, reevaluation of the cases, community support and discovery of evidence that linked her to the crimes, a BPD Sergeant obtained both a Ramey Warrant for her arrest and a Search Warrant for her home. During the search of the home, Officers seized a number of items that connected Monroe to images on surveillance videotape. The videotape captured the suspect committing one of the crimes. During an interview after her arrest, Monroe denied puncturing the tires but did explain phrases that had been tagged on the cars. On September, 7, 2011, the District Attorney (DA) charged Monroe with felony vandalism.
A community member called BPD at about 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 to report that one of her car’s tires had been slashed or punctured. BPD received additional reports of flattened tires in a number of other South Berkeley neighborhoods.
The officers who responded began checking the blocks surrounding the initial reports and were either flagged down by vehicle owners or found many more cars, trucks and van tires that had been vandalized. The area of the spree covered California Street from 62nd to Blake Streets, 1600 block of Julia, 1500 block of Russell Street, several blocks of King Street and nearly a dozen cases aong the border in the City of Oakland.
Community members were understandably upset, angered, surprised and frustrated by the discovery of these crimes as it had and has significant impacts on their lifestyles such as driving children to school, going to work, transporting family members to appointments and driving to care for older parents or family members. Some changed their own tires; tow trucks were called to assist, as well as neighbors helped neighbors change tires. Some of the vehicles were left parked until the community member can order or afford to purchase replacements. Some community members shared that neighbors were out of town and would learn of the tires upon his/her return.