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Joe Marinelli picked up dozens of silver thumbtacks after he found them scattered in a Newton bike lane.
Joe Marinelli picked up dozens of silver thumbtacks after he found them scattered in a Newton bike lane.Courtesy Joe Marinelli

Thumbtacks have again been found scattered across a bike lane in Newton, in what police called a targeted offense against the cyclists.

Dozens of silver tacks were spotted by a group of bicyclists on Nahanton Street Saturday afternoon, Newton police Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker said, just one month after a slew of sharp tacks were found faceup on Winchester Street.

Biker Joe Marinelli posted on Instagram about the thumb tacks Saturday.

“Hoping I saved someone from having a bad, or really bad, day today,” he wrote, accompanying a photo of dozens of tacks in his hand.

Marinelli said he was leading a group bike ride when one of the riders got a flat tire and they passed a few cyclists who also had flat tires.

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“I didn’t think it was just a coincidence so I went back to investigate,” he wrote in a message. “Before I knew it, I had picked up about 100 tacks and people on the other side of the road were even flatting.”

Apotheker said police got a call for “malicious damage” shortly after 12:30 p.m. and found a group of about 15 bicyclists who had gathered the tacks on Nahanton Street. Police collected 40 to 50 tacks as evidence, he said.

“It’s no accident,” Apotheker said. “Someone’s definitely putting them on the surface of the road.”

He said police have stepped up patrols in the area and are looking for the person or people responsible. Apotheker also asked for the public to notify police if someone has information on who scattered the tacks.

The motive is unknown.

“We know that someone is looking to cause damage,” Apotheker said.

In addition to the tacks found last month, bicyclists said they found more tacks in a Winchester Street bike lane three months ago.

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Marinelli said the area is a popular one for bikers.

“I’m almost positive that it’s someone from the area who got frustrated with constantly having to share the road,” he wrote.


J.D. Capelouto can be reached at jd.capelouto@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.