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Vehicles parked on streets were targeted over a large swathe of the city, starting on Friday night.
Whangarei police were inundated with reports on Saturday and Sunday of multiple tyres on each vehicle slashed in a number of streets in Kamo, Tikipunga, Maunu and in Onerahi.
Mostly tyres on the driver's side were targeted.
As at 3.30pm yesterday, 44 reports were received and police expected more people to come forward as they discovered the damage.
Police also attended to three suspicious car fires on Russell Rd, at Oakura and Mackesy Rd in Parahaki early yesterday but couldn't say whether they were related to the tyre slashings.
The torched cars were also all parked on the roadside.
Police are appealing for information such as surveillance footage from members of the public in a bid to catch those responsible for slashing tyres.
Ngahere Kerapa, in Tikipunga, was unaware his vehicle had been targeted until informed by the Northern Advocate about 1pm yesterday.
He and his partner moved to Whangarei from Hamilton a month ago and their Honda two-door car arrived a week ago.
"It's disgusting. I am more angry at their parents for their lack of interest in what their kids are doing. This is another bill I have to worry about now," said the unemployed man.
His car has been parked outside his parents' house on Mathew Pl, off Denby Crescent.
Two vehicles owned by Wayne Roycroft were targeted on Denby Crescent on Saturday evening, and he's $1000 out of pocket.
Two tyres on each vehicle were slashed and Roycroft suspects those responsible were on bicycles.
"All the cuts are on top of the tyres plus they've covered a large territory in Whangarei. It's a bit disappointing that people have to do something like this.
"It certainly reduces any desire to help other people. For example, I could be giving $500 to feed kids. Instead, I am giving $500 to the tyre shop because that's the cost of those tyres per vehicle," he said.
Alex Mitchell, an inventory controller at Plumbing World in Whangarei, spotted two flat tyres on his work vehicle while on his way to grab breakfast in Kamo.
The van was parked on Three Mile Bush Rd.
"I suspect a sharp hunting or fishing knife was used. What pleasure does someone have doing this? They should be bloody made to pay for the replacement tyres.
"These senseless idiots have no respect for anything. It's just so frustrating," he said.
It would cost $600 to replace both tyres, he said.
Whangarei Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe described the tyre slashings as "really bizarre".
"We've had this sort of incident before but not in such numbers. We're not talking about one or two cars, but dozens and dozens of them. Those responsible have to have been mobile in a vehicle.
"There are a lot of angry people out there. We ask people whose vehicles have been targeted to report the matter and if they have any CCTV footage to bring it to us," Metcalfe said.