Archive for Sunday, February 10, 1991

POLICE SAY VANDALISM IS LINKED BUT RANDOM

February 10, 1991

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Lawrence police are seeking the public's help in an investigation of more than 60 incidents Thursday, Friday and Saturday, in which vandals broke vehicle windows with a BB or pellet gun.

Most of incidents were reported after sunset in several central and west Lawrence neighborhoods, but the time, location and targets of the shootings appear to have been selected at random, said Sgt. Mark Warren of the Lawrence Police Department.

"They're connected in the fact that there's a BB or a pellet gun being used," he said. "But other than that, it appears to be just a random spree of vandalism."

Warren said Saturday that police have no suspects in connection with the incidents, which have caused property damage in excess of $5,000.

Vehicles that have sustained broken windows from a BB or pellet gun include pickup trucks, cars and a horse trailer.

"It doesn't appear to me that they're picking on any particular type of vehicle," Warren said.

PROPERTY damage has ranged from $55 to $300 for each vehicle, which usually had a single passenger window shot out.

Warren said most of the targeted vehicles were parked on residential streets.

"Of course, residential areas cover most of Lawrence . . . but it doesn't look like they went after vehicles that were parked in driveways," Warren said.

The incidents were reported in areas including the 1600 block of 20th Street, the 900 block of 21st Street, the 1900 block of Alabama Street, the 500 block of Fireside Drive, the 800 block of Louisiana Street, the 2500 block of Sixth Street, the 3400 block of Eighth Street, the 3600 block of 10th Street and other areas west of Iowa Street.

A 42-year-old Lawrence resident whose vehicle sustained a broken window said he wondered if he was personally targeted.

"BUT SINCE there were more than 50 reports, it makes me feel a little better because then it seems to be more of a random thing," the resident said.

"I think someone is just going around doing a prank in bad taste," he said. "With as many as 50 or so random shots, I don't know whether they'll go back to the same spot or not, but I would doubt it."

Warren encouraged anyone who has information about the shootings to contact police.

"If anyone gets a car description or a suspect, we'd like then to call us," he said.

Police Chief Ron Olin said Saturday that he was angry about the string of incidents.

"This is a very childish act," he said.

Warren said he wasn't surprised at the number of related incidents.

"It's not the first time that we've had this," he said.

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