Vandals flattened 30 tires on 12 cars, keyed two other cars and threw a rock through a garage window during a recent early- morning spree in Eppington South.
Now, the neighborhood's homeowners association is offering up to $500 as a reward for information leading to the culprits. The vandalism occurred Saturday, Nov. 29.
"Tons of people had family in town for Thanksgiving," HOA President Jeff Russell said. "They came through and people lost 30 tires; One of mine was a $200 tire."
The vandals were most likely teens, said York County Sheriff Lt. Pat Kiefer, Commander of the Fort Mill office. Despite the damage, which could run into the thousands of dollars on some of the cars, nothing was stolen.
"That's a typical crime of teens, not hardened criminals," Kiefer said. "It's a random act of immaturity."
The slashed tires kept area wrecker services busy, Russell said, as many people found all four tires slashed. Unable to replace all of the tires or drive to a service garage, several tow trucks were hauling cars out of the neighborhood all morning.
"There were three or four flatbeds in here at one time," Russell said. "It was blocking traffic and people couldn't turn around. What if someone needed an ambulance?"
Like other Fort Mill neighborhoods have done this past year, Eppington South is considering setting up a neighborhood watch program and even hiring off-duty sheriff's office deputies for neighborhood patrols, Russell said. They hope the reward will entice someone to talk.
"We're asking the cops what we can do to be proactive," he said. "They told us we're the number one crime district in York County. They believe it's because of our proximity to Charlotte."
With cases of vandalism, Kiefer said, most suspects are caught because they brag about it.
"Somebody's gonna say, 'man you should have seen what we did this weekend,'" he said.
School resource officers in Fort Mill Township have been informed about the case and are on the lookout for information about the vandalism that may surface in Fort Mill schools, Kiefer said. Sheriff's office deputies have received some reports of teens seen walking in the neighborhood with backpacks that aroused suspicion and are following those leads, but so far no arrests have been made.
The vandalism is not the first time the neighborhood has found itself a victim of crime. Over the summer, Russell said, several homes in the back of the neighborhood were broken into, including some still under construction. A few years ago, some of Russell's neighbors were victims of a home invasion and sexual assault.
"I've been here going on 11 years," Russell said. "It's been a steady increase in [criminal activity]; It's just getting worse."
To report information regarding the vandalism, call Kiefer at 803-628-3106.