UPDATED: Alleged Cape Hatteras tire slasher faces six counts of vandalism

Richard Gregory Perrot [photo courtesy Dare County Detention Center]

Richard G. Perrot, 62, of East Lake in Dare County, is scheduled to appear in federal court this afternoon on six counts of damaging property in connection with a series of tire slashings at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, court records show.

Perrot was caught in the act of slashing vehicle tires at seashore on Sunday, National Park Service officials said in a news release. At approximately 3 p.m. on Aug. 11, the suspect was arrested in the parking lot of Ramp 23, which is located south of the village of Salvo.

His arrest occurred after National Park Service rangers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers observed him in the act of puncturing tires on a Jeep Cherokee, the news release said.

Slashed rear tire on a red Jeep Wrangler. [NPS photo]
Since the beginning of 2019, at least 66 vehicle tires have been slashed at seashore parking lots. Additional tires have been slashed north of the seashore. The majority of the vehicles that were vandalized were sport utility vehicles.

But the “why” behind the crimes remains a mystery.

“We want to know why, too,” said Cape Hatteras National Seashore Chief Ranger Boone Vandzura. “What’s the motive, why would you do this?”

A break in the case came after authorities received information about a suspect vehicle, Vandzura said. A “variety of investigative techniques” led to Sunday’s arrest.

Federal court records show Perrot has been charged with six federal counts of vandalism/damaging property. He is currently being held at the Dare County jail pending today’s court appearance at the federal courthouse in Elizabeth City.

The Dare County Sheriff’s Office, Kill Devil Hills Police Department, Nags Head Police Department, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Dare County Communications Center, and the National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch assisted the Seashore with the case.

Law-enforcement is working on damage estimates in the case and doesn’t yet have a tally, Vandzura said.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at kpugh@jammediallc.com