Local vehicle vandalism causes financial burden

Cassie Buchman, Administration Editor

Although Alexys Opel, a senior sociology major, was angry when she got a tire on her car slashed Halloween night, she said there was one positive thing that came from it.

“I know how to change a tire now,” Opel said.

Opel and her roommate, Callie Beck, a senior kinesiology and sports studies major, worked on putting a new tire on Opel’s car Monday afternoon.

Opel said the only reason she knew how to change a tire was because a cop saw her looking at her tire and her landlord told her places to go.

“I’d probably feel more accomplished if I could actually use my car,” Opel said.

Early Sunday morning, around 2:30 a.m. vehicles on Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, 10th and 11th streets had their tires cut according to the recent Charleston Police Department police report.

Beck said her father showed her how to change a tire and even called him to ask for help.

Lt. Brad Oyer of the Charleston police department, said he estimated the cars affected was somewhere in the area of 38.

Oyer said these incidents sometimes occurs during nights like Halloween.

“We’re going to do our best to find out who it is,” Oyer said. “We’re going to treat this like any other investigation.”

Oyer said the police department would talk to people about what happened as well as talking to crime scene technicians.

Opel first found out her car’s tires were slashed Sunday morning, before she had to go to work at Jerry’s Pizza.

“Let’s just say I was pissed,” Opel said.

Opel uses her car to get to work and her internship.

“It’s walking distance, but I don’t have time, I’m taking 18 credits,” Opel said. “I don’t have a car, now I have work too.”

Opel paid $130 for one tire.

“My parents are helping me, but money’s tight, it’s not exactly something I look forward to (paying for),” Opel said. “Anything car related is so expensive.”

Brian Anzures, a sophomore psychology major, had two tires on the driver’s side of his car slashed and all five of his roommate’s car tires were slashed as well.

Anzures’ insurance won’t cover the cost.

“It’s only basic insurance that covers liabilities,” Anzures said. “It covers the other person if you get in an accident.”

Anzures had already bought new tires to go to work at Wal-Mart’s Automotive Center, which cost $114.

“I have money, but I had been trying to save it,” Anzures said. “It’s an inconvenience to spend money on what I didn’t want to spend it on at the moment.”

At first, Anzures said he was mad about what happened, but later cooled down.

“After, I realized being mad wasn’t going to fix the tires or catch who did it,” Anzures said.

Anzures was working on Sunday and he did not have a way to go to work after his car tire was slashed, so he asked his friend’s girlfriend for a ride.

“I can’t see why someone would go through the trouble, but I’m not surprised either,” Anzures said.

Despite what happened, Anzures said he does not feel unsafe.

However, Anzure said he knows people who carry knives around for protection around town to feel safe, though not in school.

Working in the automobile center at Wal-Mart, Anzures said they had worked on about 34 cars, and of that amount, 32 had tires that were slashed and the average price paid was $200.

“It was not too busy, but a little busier Sunday,” Anzures said.

Anzures said he had worked on some of his roommates and friends cars.

If anyone has any information, they are asked to contact the Charleston Police Department at 217-345-8422, or message them through Facebook. They can also call Coles County Crime Stoppers at 866-345-8488, where all information is anonymous.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]