Ashland police are trying to solve a string of vehicle vandalisms that left 16 cars with slashed tires and 34 with etched windshields last week.

Ashland police are trying to solve a string of vehicle vandalisms that left 16 cars with slashed tires and 34 with etched windshields last week.

The 50 vandalism cases occurred between Tuesday night and Saturday morning, Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness said this morning.

Police are unsure if the tire slashing cases are related to the windshield etching cases, he said.

"We don't know enough right now to tell," Holderness said. "Slashing and etching are different enough that it's probably not the same people, but on the other hand, the cases are close enough in time and place that it's possible."

A dozen windshields of cars parked primarily on Lincoln, Garfield, Wightman and Fifth streets were etched late Tuesday or early Wednesday, police said. Late Thursday or early Friday, 22 more windshields of cars parked primarily in the downtown area were etched, according to the police reports.

Many of the cars had the words "rat," "pig," "meth," "AIDS," and "HIV" etched in their windshields, and at least one car had the phrase "luv meth" etched in its windshield, said officer Bon Stewart with the Ashland Police Department.

The tire slashing occurred late Friday or early Saturday, police said. The cars in those cases were parked primarily on Wightman, California, Quincy and Garfield streets, near Ashland High School and Southern Oregon University.

There appears to be no connection between the vehicles or their owners, besides the fact that they were parked in the same area during the night, Holderness said.

All of the cars that were vandalized were parked on the street, so police are advising people to park off the street or in well-lit, well-traveled areas if possible, Holderness said.

"That's a good idea if you have someplace off the street to park," he said. "Also, check your car and keep an eye on it."

People should report car vandalism to police immediately, Holderness said.

Anyone with information on the car vandalism cases is asked to contact the Ashland Police Department at 482-5211.

—Hannah Guzik