'Serial slingshot shooter', 81, arrested in California

Azusa Police Department vehicle on the block of the home were a search warrant was executed
Azusa police executed a search warrant at the suspect's home [Azusa Police Department/ Instagram]

A "serial slingshot shooter"' who for years had allegedly antagonised residents of his California neighbourhood has been arrested, police say.

The 81-year-old man is accused of firing ball bearings from a slingshot at dozens of local homes, breaking windows and narrowly missing people.

Azusa police say Prince King's arrest concludes a "lengthy investigation" and brings an end to the "quality of life issue" that had plagued area-residents for nearly a decade.

Mr King pleaded not guilty during his court appearance on Tuesday.

Azusa Police Department released a statement on Instagram this week saying that Mr King's arrest came after a search warrant was executed on his home in the neighbourhood where the incidents were reported.

"During the search, ball bearings and a slingshot were recovered from his residence," police said.

The offences had been happening for nine to 10 years, police said, during which time "dozens of citizens were being victimised by a serial slingshot shooter".

This includes ball bearings flung toward home windows and car windshields, and "almost" hitting people.

Police said they were able to arrest Mr King when a recent uptick in complaints revealed a "pattern" and allowed them to "narrow it down to a specific residence".

“We’re not aware of any kind of motive other than just malicious mischief,” Azusa Police Lt Jake Bushey told local news.

Residents say they are relieved after years of incidents.

"Many times I came outside, and I would find little BBs by the front door," resident Monico Palomino told a local NBC affiliate.

"I'm very glad the person was caught."

Images of cracked windows and plastic bags filled with little silver balls gathered from the homes of victims were displayed on local news.

Mr King faces felony and misdemeanour vandalism charges, according to the New York Times.

He has been released without bail until his next court date on 17 June.