Vehicles vandalized; cocaine found at one scene

OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee man had a rough morning earlier this week when he found all four tires on one of his vehicles were flat, and one tire on a second vehicle was also flat.

All five tires had been punctured with some sort of object, stated a report by Deputy Gerardo Vasquez of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO).

But, stated the deputy’s report, those were not the only tires to be damaged.

The first incident was noticed shortly before 8 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 21, when the 25-year-old victim returned to his home on N.W. 43rd Avenue.

According to the deputy’s report the first thing the victim saw was the left rear tire on his 2004 Ford pickup truck was flat and the windshield was cracked.

“The left rear tire had a puncture in it that appeared to have been from an ice pick,” stated the deputy’s report, adding the damage also could have been done by some type of similar instrument. “It was unclear what initially broke the windshield, but it appeared to (have started) from a small object and then spider-webbed up the entire windshield.”

A small plastic baggie was found lying on the ground near the punctured tire that contained a substance that, when tested by Deputy Vasquez, indicated a positive result for the presence of cocaine. The victim reportedly told the deputy the cocaine was not his because he does not use drugs.

Deputy Vasquez noted he was able to lift some fingerprints from that plastic baggie.

The victim also pointed out to the deputy the four flat tires on his second pickup. Those tires, indicated the deputy, “… had puncture holes which appeared to be from a small-bladed knife.”

Deputy Vasquez went on to note the one damaged tire will cost $420 to replace, while the windshield will cost an estimated $300 to replace. As for the four Goodyear Wrangler tires on the other truck, the deputy estimated they will cost a total of $400 to replace.

All of the tires and the vehicles were in good condition when the victim left his home earlier.

The second incident was also investigated by Deputy Vasquez. Like the first incident of vandalism, the second case occurred on N.W. 43rd Avenue. The victim in this case is the nephew of the first victim.

In the second case, Deputy Vasquez found a 2001 Ford sports utility vehicle parked on a carport that had four flat tires. All of those tires had been punctured by a small-bladed object, pointed out the deputy’s report.

Also, a four-door 2000 Chevrolet parked directly in front of the Ford had all of its tires punctured.

“The puncture hole was the same diameter as the first vehicle mentioned,” stated the report.

Deputy Vasquez noted the value of the four tires on the Ford SUV was estimated to be $480. His report did not indicate a value for the tires on the Chevrolet.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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