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An 81-year-old ‘serial slingshot shooter’ has been charged after about a decade of alleged vandalism, California police say

Azusa Police Station

An 81-year-old resident of Azusa, California, was arrested and charged with vandalism in connection with about a decade of incidents, police said.



CNN

For about a decade, residents of a Los Angeles County neighborhood have been plagued by mysteriously shattered windows, cracked windshields and near misses from small projectiles, all allegedly at the hands of an 81-year-old neighbor who police have called a “serious notification’ is called. slingshot shooter.”

The suspect, Prince King, was arrested last week in Azusa, California, after a “lengthy investigation” revealed he had been harassing the community for nine to 10 years, eventually causing as much as $10,000 in damage, Azusa police said.

After years of sporadic vandalism reports, a sergeant noticed some similarities in the incidents and began digging deeper.

“What we had here was more than just random acts of vandalism,” police Lt. Robert Chivas told CNN. Investigators have determined that over the years a person has “broken windows and windshields and nearly pinned people down with ball bearings,” police said in an online post.

King is accused of carrying out the acts and has been charged with five counts of misdemeanor vandalism and two counts of misdemeanor vandalism, according to the criminal complaint from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. He has pleaded not guilty.

“During our investigation and surveillance, we observed that Mr. King committed a crime of firing a ball bearing with the sling,” Chivas said.

Ball bearings and a slingshot were also found in King’s home during a May 23 search that resulted in his arrest, police said.

According to the Public Prosecution Service, King was released on his own initiative. He must appear in court again on June 17.

CNN has requested comment from King and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which is representing him.

It is unclear whether King knew any of the victims personally, and the motive behind the alleged incidents remains unknown, Chivas said.

Fabiola Madrigal Rodriguez moved to the Azusa neighborhood about eight months ago and noticed one of her garage windows was damaged — a repair that could cost her about $500, she told CNN.

But it wasn’t until police came to her door and began investigating the broken window that she learned of the suspected serial vandal, Rodriguez said.

“I started to worry. I have children, small children. We like to go outside, play with the dog and of course you want to be safe,” she said.

When she heard her elderly neighbor had been arrested, she said she “couldn’t believe it.”

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