Broken car windows greet a dozen drivers

This car on West Fifth Street is one of the vehicles that vandals attacked.

Shawn Cole climbed into the cab of his pickup with a broom and began sweeping the remnants of his driver’s side window off the upholstery.

He was just one of several people who live in the neighborhoods near Lawrence Memorial Hospital who woke up Thursday morning and found that their car windows had been smashed to pieces.

While a formal report on the incident had not been released, Lawrence Police spokesman Sgt. Dan Ward said that vandals smashed the windows out of about 12 cars in the area north of Sixth Street and along Michigan Street. Pinewood Drive, where Cole lives, was hit particularly hard. The incidents appeared to be limited to vandalism, with no burglary reported, Ward said.

The incident caught Cole off guard – and left him with an unexpected car repair.

“I’ve lived here five years and there’s never been anything like this before,” Cole said as he swept the shattered glass from the truck out onto the street. “I’ve already looked and a new window is like 150 bucks.”

In November 2003, a Lawrence man used a BB gun to shoot out the windows of cars and businesses during a one-night vandalism spree. Approximately 30 pieces of property throughout the city were damaged. It took an eight-month investigation to bring the perpetrator to justice; in July 2004 police arrested 21-year-old Jeremy W. Wilson in connection with the spree.

Wilson, who was on probation at the time of the vandalism spree, was sentenced to 60 days in jail. Judge Michael Malone also ordered him to write letters of apology to the victims and take an anger-management course.