At least nine motorists have had to pay out for new tyres after vandals punctured them in the lead up to Christmas, said police this week.
Since November 1 there have been nine reports of criminal damage in several streets around the Highfield area of Hemel Hempstead.
In some cases, motorists have had to pay out for a entire new set of tyres after crooks pushed sharp objects into the side walls.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Karen Mellor said: “These incidents have caused a great deal of inconvenience for the owners of the vehicles and left them with hefty repair bills, which is particularly unhelpful at this time of year.
“Patrols have been increased in the area and I would also urge members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police straight away, via the non-emergency number 101.
“If you witness a crime in progress, dial 999.”
Several garages in the local area have seen a rise in the number of vehicles coming in with damaged tyres, including Discount Tyres on London Road.
Manager Clive Lilly said: “We’ve had two cars come in that we know of with damage to their tyres – one actually belonged to a member of staff.
“That one cost £150 to replace three tyres, but if there’s been eight or nine incidents in total then that’s got to be about £2,000 pounds worth of damage.
“The tyre wall is the weakest part of the tyre because it’s so flexible.
“Nowadays, it’s all you can do to protect your car but it’s only a deterrant. “You can park it on your driveway, but the portable power tools they have these days means these people will have done it before you’ve even realised or heard a noise.
“It’s not just tyres though. We have cars come in because their catalytic converters have been stolen, or their spare tyre if it’s under the car.
“In my opinion, it’s kids who are either drunk or high, or doing it for a laugh – but that’s not what I did for a laugh in my day.”
Below is a list of where the crimes took place, along with the date and the crime numbers:
D1/15/8404: Between 5.30pm on December 18 and 11.30am the following day, all four tyres on a Saab 93 were damaged, as well as one tyre on a Fiat minibus.
D1/16/46: Between 6.30pm on December 18 and 6.30am on December 19, all four tyres on a VW Touareg were damaged.
D1/15/7218: Between 6pm on November 1 and 3.30pm on November 2, a substance was poured onto a Vauxhall and a two tyres were damaged.
D1/15/8042: Between midnight and 11.59pm on November 14, a rear tyre on a Suzuki Splash was damaged.
D1/15/8359: Between midday on December 13 and 10.30am on December 17, a nail was put into a tyre on a Suzuki Splash.
D1/15/8461: Between 10pm on December 19 and 11am on December 20, a tyre on a Nissan Juke was damaged.
D1/15/8639: Between midday and 1.30pm on December 30, two tyres on a Ford Focus were damaged.
D1/16/8485: Between 5pm on December 17 and 8.55am on December 19, damage was caused to three tyres on a Peugeot 206.
D1/15/8407: At around half past midnight on December 19, all four tyres on a Mini Cooper were damaged.