A man was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of destroying property in a case in which police in several Massachusetts communities warned the public about someone disabling young women's vehicles and offering them rides home.
Alexander Yee was arrested at his home in Winchendon on a warrant charging him with destruction of property worth more than $1,200 in Milford, Winchendon police said.
It wasn't immediately clear if Yee had an attorney who could speak to his arrest.
Police in several communities, including Milford, Holliston, Franklin and Bellingham, had issued warnings to residents over the weekend, and women in the area asked about the warnings found it "weird, and like, creepy," as one woman put it to NBC10 Boston.
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The Milford Police Department said in a Facebook post Saturday that a man in his late 30s has been flattening tires in the area and filling gas tanks with water. He was reported to have been driving a blue Chevrolet Impala with Massachusetts plates.
"If your vehicle has a flat tire DO NOT try and start it," the department wrote. "Call Milford Police at 508-473-1113."
Police in Milford told NBC10 Boston Saturday night they had identified a man from Winchendon who admitted to putting juice in a woman's gas tank in a Target parking lot. They said he had refused to turn himself in, and police had requested a warrant for his arrest on a charge of willful and malicious destruction of property over $1,200.
"Over the past week there have been local reports of an individual seeking to disable cars being operated by young females. In these situations, the individual may let air from a tire or add a gas tank contaminant, then approach the female to offer help in the form of a battery pack, air compressor or a ride," police in Holliston said. "As in all situations, be aware that individuals offering help may have in fact been involved in orchestrating the situation. If your car becomes disabled, wait in a safe place for a friend, family member, or AAA to respond."
"The individual currently being investigated into this matter was spotted in town yesterday afternoon," Franklin police said. "If your vehicle is tampered with or breaks down shortly after starting, give us a call."
"Bellingham Police are also investigating an incident involving this individual," that department said in a Facebook post. "It is suspected that he tampered with a vehicle in the Charles River Center then approached the female owner when she found her vehicle was disabled."
Bellingham police warned the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, recommending parking in well-lit areas and not to walk to vehicles alone if possible.