A Tire Slasher in Church Hill Is Strangely Only Targeting Subarus

The Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond, Virginia, recently saw a spike in an extraordinary type of crime. Someone has been going around slashing tires on vehicles owned by residents of the neighborhood. As a result, these residents now have to miss crucial appointments and work while dealing with unexpected car maintenance. The perpetrator didn’t target just any vehicles, however. He specifically singled out Subarus with his bizarre behavior. 

Police have a few facts about the Subaru tire slasher

A 2003 Subaru Impreza TS2.5 parked by stacks of tires
A Subaru Impreza parked by stacks of tires | John Mahler/Toronto Star via Getty Images

As Jalopnik reports, early in the morning on Sunday, August 29, 2021, surveillance video captured images of a bearded man wearing a baseball cap, black gloves, and glasses reaching down to slash car tires as he walked along the street. Video of one such slashing is now posted on YouTube.  Shocked residents discussed the situation on Reddit, with one commenting that he’d counted at least 18 vehicles in the neighborhood whose tires had been slashed. 

One victim of the crime explained the impact that the suspect’s actions were having on him and his wife to Richmond’s NBC12 News. Because of the tire slashing, the man said he could not take his disabled wife to her doctor’s appointment and would be set back at least a week as he waited to get new tires for his vehicle.

Another resident explained that she discovered 2-3 inch slashes in her tires when she went out for a run early in the morning. “They did it really quickly. I don’t know if it was an ice pick or whatever,” she said. “Today, I’m taking time off work to spend half a day to get the car towed and replace all four tires.”

The criminal wasn’t picky about the types of Subarus

As police and residents grappled with the situation, they came to realize that the suspect was only taking the time to slash the tires of certain cars: Subarus. Beyond that, though, he didn’t seem too picky. 

The Reddit commenter who counted 18 affected vehicles explained what he’d encountered by saying, “[The targeted vehicles] varied in model, color, and age. No commonality other than being Subarus. The SUV crossovers and sedans alike got slashed as did the new and the old.”

According to Jalopnik, models affected include an older generation Forester as well as newer Outbacks. The surveillance video mentioned above also shows the two right tires of a Crosstrek getting slashed. There may also be more Subarus out there that have been targeted and haven’t yet been discovered. Police continue to look into leads, and residents of the Church Hill neighborhood stay vigilant as they hope the suspect is brought to justice. 

Does car insurance cover slashed tires?

Car insurance policyholders may expect their insurance carrier to cover tire replacement if they have comprehensive insurance coverage. However, since such coverage is optional, not everyone has it to rely on in such events.

Moreover, Car Insurance reminds us that insurance isn’t always the best solution in these cases, even if you do have comprehensive coverage. First of all, you have to keep in mind your deductible. If you have a $500 deductible, which is typical, and your replacement tires only cost $400 total, it won’t make sense to file a claim.

Additionally, in most instances, you can only expect your insurance carrier to cover costs equivalent to the value of the tires you lost, which is determined by their current age and mileage. Insurance companies obviously aren’t going to want to shell out the full cost of giving you better tires than the ones you had before they were slashed. 

If you’re ever the victim of a tire slashing, make sure to keep your wits about you. Gather all the facts, and contact the police as soon as possible. Think carefully as well about whether it would make sense to involve your insurance company.

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