A total of 11 vehicles last week were hit by projectiles along Highway 101 in the Prunedale area, continuing an unfortunate trend that began back in February. According to the CHP, six of the 11 attacks happened Saturday.
The most recent incidents brought the total number of vehicles hit by projectiles in the area to 62 since February. A reward offered for the arrest of whomever is responsible for the incidents grew to $14,000 in early December when the number of incidents surpassed 40.
Now, the CHP has launched a special task force to try to catch the suspects propelling objects along the six-mile-long stretch of freeway south of Gilroy. The CHP said the attacks are getting bolder and more frequent.
"We’ve established a full-time task force where we have investigators working 24 hours a day, and the Monterey County Sheriff's Office has dedicated a full-time detective to our task force," CHP Capt. Kyle Foster said.
Investigators say the projectiles are not bullets or pellets but won’t say exactly what they are or how they’re being launched at cars.
The victims include families and even a high school football team on a school bus traveling to San Jose for a game, when one player suffered minor injuries due to broken glass.
Salinas resident Sukhvir Singh says he’s not taking any chances. He’s completely changed his driving habits because of the attacks.
"I usually drive in the daytime, no more evenings," Singh said.
No injuries have been reported in the most recent slew of attacks.
The CHP advised motorists driving through the area that if their vehicle is struck, they should turn on their hazard lights, pull over and call 911 immediately.