By Nicole Brewer and Hadas Kuznits

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Police are searching for a suspect who could be responsible for a string of vandalism, dating back to October and involving at least 70 cars.

“This individual or group of individuals has basically terrorized the Northeast,” said Captain Jack McGinnis of the Philadelphia Police Department.

Surveillance video shows the suspect, a white male believed to be in his late teens to early 20s, slashing the tire of at least one car in a matter of seconds. The video was captured at Cottman and Rowland Avenues in Mayfair at 9:30 p.m. Thursday night.

It was the same night eight other cars were hit, including Ken Paulit’s Hyundai Elantra.

“It’s horrible, you just want to scream. People can’t afford this,” Paulit said.

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Ken’s new tire cost him one $110, but State Representative Kevin Boyle worries it could cost Mayfair much more.

“Not only is it a crime that takes thousands of dollars to fix, it’s a crime that drives good people away from Northeast Philly,” Boyle said.

And while town watch teams have formed and police have stepped up patrols, some say they’re afraid of what might happen if residents find the suspect or suspects first.

“They’re going to kill the guy. It’s sad to say, that but that’s what’s going to happen,” one neighbor said.

Despite offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest, authorities are urging residents not to approach the suspect, since he is carrying a knife. Instead, people are asked to immediately call police.

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