Frustration grows for UT students over tire slashing

Slashed tires are becoming a major problem in Fort Sanders.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A large number of students at the University of Tennessee who live in Fort Sanders are reporting their tires have been slashed. Some are worried this problem is growing and they want to know why someone is vandalizing their cars.

“I was really mad, more than anything else, it just doesn’t make any sense to me of why,” said Claire Franks.

Franks is a sophomore at UT and says the tires on her car were slashed Monday. She’s sharing pictures of what happened as a way to warn others.

“I am worried to go get my car and park it back in the Fort and get my tires slashed again,” Franks said. “I have no idea where to park.”

About 10 minutes away, the parking lot off Sutherland View Way has four cars with flat tires.

“I feel like I need to stay up tonight to make sure that these tires don’t go,” said RB Lounsberry.

He replaced all four tires on his truck Wednesday and shared with us surveillance video from around 2 a.m. on Tuesday outside his apartment complex, showing someone going car to car.

“He proceeds to go to the right side of the complex slashes tires for like a minute and 30 seconds. Comes to our side, a minute and 30 seconds and he’s out in three minutes,” said Lounsberry. “What was your motive? What kind of agenda do you have.”

This is a problem we asked Knoxville police about last week. At the time, Police Chief David Rausch said there’s been a rash of vandalism happening city-wide and they believe kids may be responsible.

“We’ve had two different groups that we’ve caught. There are some others we know that are out there,” said Chief Rausch.

As of this week, KPD says they’ve only gotten about a dozen reports and they continue following leads while they investigate. Students across Knoxville are sharing their experiences on social media as a way to look out for each other.

“If we can all stop this person, than the quicker the better,” said Lounsberry.

“I don’t know what they’re going to do. I hope they find him,” added Franks.

UT Police, who patrol on campus, say they’re aware of what’s happening in the Fort, but so far they have no reports of vandalism on campus.

We asked Knoxville police if students are simply not reporting their tires being slashed, because so many are saying it’s more than a dozen this has happened to, but we’ve not heard back yet.

KPD adds if you see something suspicious, call 911. If your vehicle happens to have been a target, you should call the non-emergency number (865)215-4010 to file a report.

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