A 21-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man has been arrested and charged with slashing nine tires on cars parked in Mayfair last week.
Police said they do not believe Quincy Kramer, 21, is to blame for any of the other tire-slashing incidents that have bedeviled the Northeast since October.
"I think we have several copy cats going on at the same time," said Capt. John McGinnis, commander of Northeast Detectives.
In one case, a woman was witnessed puncturing tires.
McGinnis declined to say if Kramer had confessed, but said Kramer seemed to have acted on impulse, and not because any affiliation with any vigilante group or street-corner crew.
Tipsters helped lead police to Kramer after a surveillance video of Thursday night's incident was released to the news media.
On Monday, police executed a search warrant at Kramer's Mayfair home, where they recovered clothing that matched what the vandal was wearing in the video.
"It was very distinctive, the jacket he was wearing, the sneakers he was wearing," McGinnis said.
They also found two knives, "one of which was identified as the knife that was used," he said.
Kramer was charged with criminal mischief and vandalism for allegedly flattening nine tires on the 3300 block of Cottman Avenue.
Even as police were announcing his arrest, they were investigating new cases, but on one street nails seemed to be to blame, not a slasher, McGinnis said.
Since October, tires have been slashed on 70 to 80 vehicles, many in the Holmesburg/Mayfair area, police said.
A reward totaling $7,500 had posted for information leading to arrests in the earlier slashings, but it is not clear now how that will be doled out since police believe they are dealing with a number of copy cats.
The captain said residents need to remain on the alert.