Someone has been forcing metal screws into the tires of vehicles belonging to the staff of La Entrada School at 2200 Sharon Road, according to Menlo Park police and the school principal.
The incidents first came to light in a police report dated June 2, but they had been happening for about two months, with the first incident occurring around April 1, police said.
Three staff members so far have contacted police with reports of damaged tires, Menlo Park Police Department spokeswoman Nicole Acker told The Almanac.
Typically, the damage has been limited to one tire per vehicle, with as few as one screw in the tire or several, La Entrada Principal Mark Jones said. The screws are of the Phillips-head type and have varied as to how new they appeared and how far into the tire they'd been driven, Jones said.
Some of the screws penetrated the tire tread and others the sidewall, Acker said.
"Our common goal right now is to solve the mystery," Jones said, commenting on how staff members have been responding to the vandalism. "We appreciate the support of (the Menlo Park police) in generating an active police case to help us find who is causing the damage.
"While I wouldn't want to speak for the emotional state of others, I think it's safe to say that we, as a staff, are not happy about the vandalism and want to bring it to an end as soon as possible."
The school has one surveillance camera that looks into the staff parking lot, but images from that camera have shown nothing suspicious, Jones said. The idea of adding more cameras "is something we're looking at strongly," Jones said.
The parking lot has gates, but they're normally left open, Jones said.
While construction is ongoing at the campus and police have raised the possibility that the screws are construction debris, Jones noted that construction vehicles have their own entrance "far removed" from the parking lot where the tires were damaged. There hasn't been a construction vehicle in the staff parking lot for at least six months, he said.