A mysterious vigilante with a relish for rules has vandalized cars belonging to neighbors who ignore parking regulations at a Simi Valley townhouse development, police said.
Residents said warning notes--presumably from the unidentified vandal--were taped to their doors and mailboxes Monday, admonishing them to follow the development's rules that cars be parked in garages.
"If your vehicle is seen parked outside your garage for any unreasonable length of time, your vehicle will be added to the hit list," the note said, Simi Valley Police Sgt. Kenneth Tacke reported.
One resident said the note also boasted of an ability to "slash four tires within 25 seconds, day or night, and I will do it."
Simi Valley police say several acts of vandalism have occurred in the Oak Tree townhouse development since March 7, the date of the earliest reported incident. Several drivers have been victimized more than once, dismaying residents who moved to the community to seek order.
"Everything is supposed to be nice and pretty. Now there's tires being slashed," said Debbie LaScala, 31, whose Ford Fiesta was splattered with a corrosive, acid-like liquid, as were the cars of her parents and brother.
Tacke said police have 16 reports of car vandalism involving an estimated $12,000 in damages. LaScala claimed the damage has been greater, and said that as many as 80% of the cars in the 95-home complex have been hit.
Oak Tree is a development of detached two-story houses that are connected by small gardens. The development lies off the 5400 block of Cochran Street near the Simi Valley Freeway.
"It seems apparent at this point that the suspect is probably someone who lives in the complex. At least, that's the tone of the notes that have been received," Tacke said.
"There's been some finger-pointing, but until we confirm it one way or the other, I don't want to release any names."
The vandalism came up at the Aug. 31 meeting of the Oak Tree homeowners association and is expected to be raised again at the Oct. 16 meeting. But the development's management company, Dahl Davis Inc. of Westlake Village, has advised the board of directors to leave the matter to police, said association manager Janice Needham.
Under the rules, residents are required to park in their two-car garages and avoid using the shared lots reserved mainly for visitors. One vehicle per residence may park in the guest lots, if it is driven off the site on a daily basis. Also, residents may not park outside their garages--most of which open directly onto shared parking lots--unless they live in one of the few houses with a driveway.
Oak Tree resident Brian Lipe has so far escaped vandalism and generally parks both his car and his wife's in their garage. But he confessed he sometimes leaves one of the cars out when he takes his motorcycle for a spin.
"If everybody cooperates, it's OK," he said, and if someone is blocked in "you can go ask your neighbor to move his car."