Tire slashing suspect held on $270,000 bail
NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA - April 26, 2012 (WPVI) -- The self-proclaimed town watchman turned suspect was in court Thursday morning to face formal charges that he carried out the costly vandalism spree.
Philadelphia police say 44-year-old David Toledo is responsible for damaging dozens of vehicles over the past several months.
Detectives say Toledo is being charged with 47 misdemeanor, two felony counts of criminal mischief seven counts of possessing instruments of crime, and five counts of false reporting. He remains at Northeast Detectives, where he is being held on $5,000 for each of his over 50 counts, totaling $270,000 bail.
On his way into court today Toledo was asked if he did it, to which he immediately replied, "No!"
Meanwhile over in his Mayfair community his neighbors absorbed the news of his arrest and the damage he's accused of doing.
"Eight tires, seven different slashings."
It's been an expensive run for Kristyn Majewski's mother, who lives next door to Toledo on the 4000 block of Aldine. Majewski tells Action News, "I'm feeling hurt for the people the damage was done to - my mother, his wife, and his family."
For months now Toledo has been outspoken about the string of tire slashings in his community, speaking to Action News on numerous occasions about the need to catch those responsible. On one occassion Toledo even told our cameras, "I hope the cops get them before the neighbors get them because he did a lot of damage and if the neighbors get him, God knows what's going to happen to the guys."
On February 13th, Toledo said, "We go to work every day and then you have to call in late and explain to them that my tires are flat, it's not right."
Later that month, he told Action News, "It's tough right now. We can't afford hundreds of dollars every other week for tires for damage."
On February 19th, Toledo said, "I can't afford this. It's ridiculous. The cops, they have to stop it."
On Wednesday, police say they have stopped it by arresting Toledo himself.
His arrest has left neighbors feeling betrayed, stunned - some explaining they never saw this coming. However, others weren't as shocked. Action News has learned that Toledo had problems with his neighbors before he arrived to his current address on Aldine Street.
In an exclusive interview with Action News Wednesday night, 84-year-old Fred Arabia says he filed a number of complaints with police on how Toledo was terrorizing him.
Arabia says before moving to the 4000 block of Aldine, 44-year-old David Toledo was his next door neighbor in the 5100 block of Erdrick. He showed us two dozen police reports of complaints alleging various acts of vandalism by Toledo and one of his sons. He says they threw paint on his door just before one Christmas, threw a large rock through one of his windows, and slashed his tires among other things.
Arabia says he was very suspicious and called police when he saw Toledo on the news recently talking about the tire slasher.
Police Wednesday revealed that Toledo did in fact have a history of slashing tires before he arrived on Aldine Street, but would not elaborate.
News of Toledo's arrest came during a press conference Wednesday evening.
"This has been very long, a long investigation, but with hard work by my detectives and the 15th district police officers, we were finally able to put together a case against David Toledo," Philadelphia Police Captain Jack McGinnis of Northeast Detectives said.
Philadelphia police said Toledo was on their list of suspects for 'quite some time.' They served a search warrant on Toledo's Mayfair home on Aldine Street at around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, which was followed by his arrest.
In all, police say as many as 55 automobiles were hit since early February.
In late March, Quincy Kramer, 20, of the 3300 block of Englewood Street in Philadelphia, was arrested for his alleged involvement in the slashing of nine tires in the 3300 block of Cottman Avenue.
Over in South Philadelphia, two arrests were made in early April for tire slashing incidents there. In that case, Eugene Aversa, 21, of the 2700 block of South 18th Street and Julien Ortiz, 21, of the 2200 block of South Clarion St. were arrested.
However, after the arrests, the slashings continued in Mayfair.
Police would not elaborate on how they zeroed in on Toledo or the evidence that was recovered from Toledo's home.
Police say what makes this case all the more disturbing is that Toledo was a self-proclaimed member of a block watch group formed by 15th district police to help catch the tire slasher.
Back in March, Toledo told Action News of the community coming together to catch the slasher.
"We all pulled together and we've all been taking turns and doing the best we can." Toledo said.
"To have somebody from within their own midst doing it, I would think would even make it worse," Captain McGinnis said.
Deputy Commissioner Thomas Wright said some of the victims had their cars vandalized two or three times over the past few months.
"We will be requesting the judge to ensure restitution is given to the Philadelphia Police Department, the city of Philadelphia, as well as the complainants and victims of these crimes," Wright said.
15th District Police Captain Frank Bachmayer, though, tells the victims and neighbors to let the justice system handle the case.
"Let the justice system take care of Mr. Toledo, we don't want any acts of retaliation to the Toledo family and let the justice system handle Mr. Toledo," Bachmayer said.
philadelphia, northeast philadelphia, mayfair, vandalism, local/state
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