By Jeff Wagner


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Big Lake Police Department is investigating after several vehicles were damaged by screws and nails spread on roads in Sherburne County.

According to a post on the department’s Facebook page, several locations and roadways in Big Lake, Zimmerman and Orrack were targeted. The department says one of its squad cars was also damaged.

Fixing a flat is part of the drill at Lake Auto and Tire in Big Lake, often thanks to a nail or screw in the road. But in the past week, this shop alone has seen dozens of punctured tires — all with a similar screw in them. It’s a pattern that caught manager Alec Simoneau’s attention.

“At this point we’re up to 30 [screws] that I’ve saved and I know that we’ve dumped, we threw away a lot more,” Simoneau said.

He said several of his customers believed their tires were hit along Powell Street, which is where we met Miles King. The 11-year-old spent part of his weekend collecting the black screws in the street after a couple got lodged in his dad’s wheels.

“I was looking for something that was shaped like a nail, bolts, metal, anything like that,” King said.

He still has the sandwich bag with at least two dozen inside.

“Picking these up made me kind of like a little bit mad because people in their cars don’t know it’s there, and some people can’t even afford new tires,” King said.

Police ask that anyone whose vehicle was damaged report the incident online.

“I know it was frustrating for [Big Lake Police] to have to replace a whole set [of tires], and it’s frustrating for everybody who ends up having to,” Simoneau said. “If you have an all-wheel drive car and you get one nail in the sidewall, for the most part you have to replace the entire set.”

Police also ask that anyone with information about the identity of the suspect or suspects call 763-251-2987.

Jeff Wagner

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