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Splasher Strikes Again, Defaces 20 Cars

July 22, 1986|DAVE PALERMO | Times Staff Writer

A man believed responsible for spraying an acid-like substance on more than 300 late-model cars in the San Fernando Valley since April struck again last week, splattering the chemical on at least 20 automobiles in Chatsworth, Burbank and Simi Valley, police said.

Investigators said the splasher, who also sprayed four people, causing minor injuries, drives a white or tan Dodge or Ford van and could be a delivery man because most of the attacks occur during working hours Monday through Friday.

Police Detective Ed Pikor said the splasher is so active that insurance companies are no longer requiring crime reports from persons submitting damage claims.

"We've had insurance companies telling us, 'Hey, we're getting barraged by sprayer victims. What's going on?' " Pikor said. "Now the insurance companies are not demanding a crime report because they know we got a problem."

The assailant is believed to be white, in his mid-20s, with blond or light-brown hair. He usually sprays the acid from the windows of his van, using either a squirt gun or fire extinguisher.

Some damage estimates range from $50 to $500. But many of the cars are new and expensive models that cost more to repair.

"He likes new cars, the better looking cars," said Lt. Rick Violano.

About 250 of the cars were damaged in Chatsworth, North Hollywood, Granada Hills, Canoga Park, Woodland Hills, Reseda, Tarzana, Burbank and Encino. Other automobiles were reportedly damaged in Simi Valley, San Fernando, Calabasas and Anaheim.

Violano declined to comment on the type of liquid used by the assailant, except to say it did not seriously harm four people who reportedly were splashed.

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