A mysterious culprit had been at large since July in a mountain village in Italy, slashing tires and terrorizing car owners who parked in the historic center of Vastogirardi. Residents feared the tire slasher was a disgruntled neighbor or someone carrying out mafia-style intimidation, according to the Guardian. But it turns out the repeat offender was a dog named Billy who just had a bad case of gingivitis.
The dog, Billy, had been gnawing on tires to relieve the pain of his gum disease. No one would have suspected that was the case, apparently, and Billy continued going after tires of cars parked near his home – easy marks. Per the Guardian:
Billy, who lives close to where the cars were parked, was captured on camera biting into the tyres of several cars.
This went on from July through October, and no one was caught. Townsfolk worried that the serial slasher was a neighbor with an axe to grind, which is troublesome in a village with some 600 residents, as the Guardian reports. What’s worse, villagers suspected that someone was taking cues from the mob, using mafia scare tactics to muscle people out of the city center.
But unless Billy is a mobster, that’s thankfully not the case. The dog’s known associates are yet to be identified by the municipal police of the Molise Region, and no official photos have been released of the canine criminal. Billy’s owner could be on the hook for the cost of the tire repairs, which some residents incurred on more than one occasion. The Guardian goes on, citing city officials:
“It has been very puzzling, as we couldn’t work out who could possibly be going around cutting tyres, or what the motive would be,” said Remo Scocchera, the deputy mayor of Vastogirardi. “It is a peaceful village – we knew it couldn’t be anyone from outside as we are always aware of any suspicious movements.”
Scocchera said the issue was frustrating and costly for the owners of cars, especially for those who were struck more than once. “It really became a problem – people were unable to drive to work because of the punctured tyres, which cost a lot of money. Fortunately, it has now been resolved, and it’s a positive thing that the perpetrator wasn’t a person in the village.”
After municipal police staked out the area and caught Billy chewing on tires, they brought in a veterinarian. The vet found that Billy’s gingivitis was severe, which will likely influence the outcome. Nonetheless, police claim the dog will be officially sanctioned pending the investigation and that his owner will be liable. Whatever the outcome, someone just get that poor pup some dental care.
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