LAKE WORTH, Fla. - There is fear and anger in a Lake Worth neighborhood after Fourth of July vandals targeted the vehicles of multiple residents. The crimes have residents increasing security measures and some are even considering moving altogether.
What they left behind was flat tire after flat tire, slashed with a sharp object. Some residents are adding new lighting and even new surveillance systems, but they wonder if any of that will be enough.
“Slashed everybody’s tires on the street,” said Holly Olerich, who lives on North B Street. She, along with a string of neighbors, had their tires slashed. All four of Olerich’s tires were deflated. “Makes me want to put an electric fence around my house,” she said.
Multiple vehicles with thousands of dollars in damage left some people with no way to get to work.
“Noticed the other one was flat,” said Hope Gomez, who lives on the same street. “Then I looked at these two and these two were flat,” she said.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office was busy this holiday weekend responding to crimes across the area. On North B Street, residents were filing reports with police and with their insurance companies.
“Somebody that just doesn’t realize the cost,” said Lourdes Rodriguez of the vandals. She said seeing her car like this is enough to make her move out. “I’m done with this neighborhood.”
Others will stay and better fortify their homes, wondering if - or when - this vandalism could turn into something else.
“This is just one step away from a violent crime,” said Olerich. “And if they don’t respect people’s properties, they’re not going to respect people’s lives.”
PBSO is still investigating this and other crimes from the holiday weekend. At last check, there were no arrests in the vehicle vandalism cases.