Archive for Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Vandalism spree leaves costly mess

October 4, 2006

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Nancy Schwarting was surprised to find the driver's side window of her truck broken out as it sat parked along the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Street. Schwarting discovered the damage Monday morning, and she wasn't alone. Others throughout Lawrence reported vandalism and graffiti after the weekend, and police are investigating whether any of the crimes are related.

Nancy Schwarting was surprised to find the driver's side window of her truck broken out as it sat parked along the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Street. Schwarting discovered the damage Monday morning, and she wasn't alone. Others throughout Lawrence reported vandalism and graffiti after the weekend, and police are investigating whether any of the crimes are related.

After Nancy Schwarting walked out of her East Lawrence home Monday morning, she searched through her truck for a brick.

The way her driver's side window was broken out, she thought someone must have thrown one through it.

"It was a kind of nasty deal," she said.

It was a nasty deal for many in East Lawrence and elsewhere in town Sunday night and Monday, when nearly 30 incidents of criminal damage left cars without windows and downtown buildings littered with graffiti, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

In East Lawrence alone, 13 residents reported about $2,500 in damage to car windows and windshields Sunday night and Monday morning. The vandals struck mostly between 11th and 14th streets from Pennsylvania to New Jersey streets, police reported.

"I would think this indicates, the time and the location, that we will be investigating that these are related," said Kim Murphree, a Lawrence Police spokeswoman.

But Murphree and neighbors in the area said the search for bricks might be fruitless. It appeared pellets may have been shot through many of the windshields.

"That's part of the investigation," Murphree said. "Some of the damage indicates it could have been a pellet, but we haven't found a weapon."

Other cars across Lawrence suffered damage this weekend, too. Police had reports that 11 cars in the Prairie Park area - between 25th and 28th streets along Maverick Lane and Harper Street - lost windows, and vandals struck three vehicles in the Oread Neighborhood.

Two other incidents in other parts of town also were reported.

The total bill for the weekend vandalism spree: $6,500.

Around the same time, four buildings in the 800 block of Massachusetts Street had graffiti sprayed on their exterior walls. It's unclear whether those incidents were related, but the spray paint added hundreds of dollars to the weekend's vandalism total.

Police haven't located a suspect, Murphree said.

In East Lawrence, many of the vehicles hit were older cars - typically not fully insured - belonging to residents without a lot of cash to get them fixed, Schwarting said.

"It was kind of a double negative for those of us who got hit," she said.

Sabrina Channel, who lives along New Jersey Street, said her 1992 Chevrolet Lumina was no exception. She only carries liability insurance, so she had to pay the $200 repair bill out of her pocket.

"Well, I could get mad about it, but it's really kind of pointless," Channel said. "I'm just happy I was able to get it fixed."

Comments

Genetic02 8 years, 5 months ago

I think the streets on the map are incorrectly marked.

geekin_topekan 8 years, 5 months ago

Rattan caning would be acceptable. oh wait.That would be savage and primative.We are so far above that.

Confrontation 8 years, 5 months ago

Somewhere there's an idiot parent, raising an idiot child, and ignoring the fact that the idiot child just devastated the lives of many people.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

some [liberals] are calling this torture!

estespark 8 years, 5 months ago

"Well, I could get mad about it, but it's really kind of pointless," Channel said.

Maybe Channel and the rest of the Eastside community should get mad about it - especially since these sprees are potentially related. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated.

compmd 8 years, 5 months ago

As someone who owns and drives old and classic cars, this scares me. Especially because things like windows can be extremely expensive. Also, my insurance company (along with others) won't provide full coverage for some of the older and stranger cars. I had some future leader of tomorrow slash the convertible top on one of my cars, and another break into another car to steal the contents of the glove box. This just strengthens my desire to install a South African criminal deterrent system on my cars: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/africa/9812/11/flame.thrower.car/

Add a proximity sensor, and voila! Reduced vehicle vandalism.

audvisartist 8 years, 5 months ago

I'll second that South African criminal deterrent system! I'd like to see a video of it in action! It amazes me that vandals like these have nothing better to do but go out and destroy other peoples' property. Get girlfriends you guys (or get boyfriends you girls... or get boyfriends you guys... or get girlfriends you girls... there I think I covered all the angles!) Then you might have something better to do at night.

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 5 months ago

Sprees like this should be treated as a more serious crime than normal vandalism and destruction of property. Even if (when) they discover that it is juvenilles, they shouldn't be spared punishment or restitution. This isn't boredom, it is early signs of psychopathic behavior. These same people WILL end up in the system in the future (assuming they haven't been already).

kujeeper 8 years, 5 months ago

If you drive and own old classic cars, you should garage them. No one in their right mind will leave a classic of value outside

betti81 8 years, 5 months ago

"or, loud exposure to the "Red Hot Chili Peppers?" "

please tell me you don't actually see this as a punishment?

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

or, loud exposure to the "Red Hot Chili Peppers?" yeah, caning sounds awefully good right now. hope the lil bastid(s) get caught.

betti81 8 years, 5 months ago

Well then, as one of their songs on the new album says "torture me and torture me and torture me please" (RHCP). great, now i have to go out to my car and get the cd so i can listen to it.

as for the article, why not make the person(s) responsible pay for the damages. especially if its kids. some manual labor might do them some good. send them out to the farms to help with harvest and make them pay back each person personally. and if the courts can't do this, if (and only if) it is kids, and they turned out to be mine, the above would be my punishment.

two cents--and out!

smiles 8 years, 5 months ago

On my way to work today, I saw another vandalized car. Must have been a bad tv night last night.

oldvet 8 years, 5 months ago

So the kids will be caught and their parents will either get a lawyer to get them off (must be some constitutional rights violated somewhere in this investigation) or they will give them the same treatment they received when they were kids... give them a time-out! I remember as a youngster a judge in our town who refused to accept cash for payment of traffic fines for people under 18... he knew that their parents would be paying the bill and instead made them work for the city on Saturdays for the going highschool-aged wages (probably somewhere around $1-2 per hour) until their fine was paid. They had to report to the city hall by 8am, would be released to a parent at 5pm, and he told them to wear old clothes, bring work gloves and a sack lunch. He also warned them that he would get a phone call if they were not there and he would dispatch the police to pick them up and he would hold a special session of court on Saturday and they would regret the day they made him come in. Too bad there isn't more of that today... and more parents who would support that type of punishment... if these are kids, let them serve their punishments in the county juvenile system from 5pm on Friday until 5pm on Sunday, every weekend until their sentence is worked off... homecoming game... oops, too bad, you are in lockup... prom... oops, too bad, you are in lockup... Super Bowl weekend... oops, too bad, you are in lockup...
I guess it's just a dream that they would actually have to pay the price and learn a lesson... maybe they will when they are arrested as adults...

mansondahmer 8 years, 5 months ago

Oldvet-I think that punishment sounds perfect. I was one of the victims of these vandals. I live in the 1200 block of Pennsylvania and on my way out to work Monday morning I was suprised to see a hole in my rear driver side window big enough to put my head thru. Officers were up and down the street so I approached them and made a report. The officer who took it stated to me that more than likely the jerk off who did this would not be caught. So now I'm stuck with plastic on my window right before winter and no way can i afford to fix this. I only have liability insurance, as many of the others who were hit, The thing that upset me most was the fact the officer told me this guy probably wont get caught. I dont think they care about the east side and probably arent even looking for this guy. I bet if this happened in a rich neighborhood on the west side the would have found this or these jerks right away.

ControlFreak 8 years, 5 months ago

15th Street should be marked as 19th Street on the map. 11th Street should be marked at 15th Street on the map.

The way it reads makes no sense.

Good job LJW.

prioress 8 years, 5 months ago

Rattan caning would be acceptable. oh wait.That would be savage and primative.We are so far above that. =========== No we're not; see the Bush/McCain torture is OK bill for one example.

prioress 8 years, 5 months ago

as for the article, why not make the person(s) responsible pay for the damages. especially if its kids.

If they catch them, I believe the can hold the parents accountable for the damages. Children under 18, you know.

lacoov 8 years, 5 months ago

YEA oldvet-that's exactly what needs to be done and not just with this group!!!

oldvet 8 years, 5 months ago

You know, Manson, the sad thing is that it really doesn't matter what economic neighborhood this happens in, they just can't catch random acts like this. In two other cities I lived in I was also a victim of vandalism, nothing taken, just destroyed. So unless someone saw them, or something was taken that shows up and ties someone to it, or they think they are cool and brag about it and get turned in, there is nothing to follow to find them. It goes back to the lack of parenting and discipline... sometimes multiple generations...

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

manson, btw, hi neighbor.
unfortunately, the above is right on. and, what the officer told you is correct whether it happened here, or on the west side. little or no useful evidence pointing to the perp(s).

let's just hope some one saw something useful and comes forward! sounds like they're not even sure of the weapon used to break the windows.

so, some one reading this, if you know something, saw something, please be a good citizen and help all of us in this neighborhood.
you can call 843-TIPS and remain anonymous if that helps. the cop shop hasn't promoted that number enough, IMHO.

geppetto 8 years, 5 months ago

I had my car tires punched a year ago. I think we need more lighting in East Lawrence. If you ever walk at night there you can't see anything. You can't see anything outside from your house. I hope these punks are caught.

Bone777 8 years, 5 months ago

It is not only the poor-parented kids that commit acts like this. I know a whole group of kids that used to throw apples, golf balls, and pumpkins at cars. Many in this group have grown up to be business men and civil servants.

I know that if these kids would have been caught, money would not have been a problem. Public embarrassment and having to contact the victims would have made the most impact.

Put their pictures in the paper, make them walk around with a sandwich board, and make them do community service, working for the victims.

goodguy24 8 years, 5 months ago

YES! I MOST DEFINATELY BACK THE IDEA OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN INVENTION FOR VANDALISM/CARJACKING DETERRING! I READ THAT ARTICLE AND WAS AMAZED AT IT. ITS SURE TO BE EFECTIVE, ESPECIALLY IF YOU'RE IN YOUR CAR AND ALONE.... WE NEED TO GET THIS KIND OF THINK IN THE STATES FOR SURE.... WHY DIDN'T ANYONE THINK OF THIS YEARS AGO??? GOOD COMMENT

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 5 months ago

The real lesson here is if you see someone doing something like this, go beat the hell out of them.* What are they going to do, go to the cops? After busting windows?

*not an endorsement of violence, strictly for entertainment purposes. (ah, that outta satisfy my lawyers)

audvisartist 8 years, 5 months ago

If kids/teenagers did it, then most likely they'll be unable to keep their mouth shut about it. Wait about a week and do a search on MySpace for something that mentions this vandalism spree and I'll bet you catch your culprits!

lynnd 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree completely that it would not matter what part of town this happened in, it's hard to catch vandals in these situations.

I encourage all of you above who have posted about the needs of East Lawrence, such as better lighting (with which I wholeheartedly agree!) and more 'recognition' of the neighborhood, please attend the neighborhood association meetings. That is the place to make things happen. If more people would begin attending and give input, the group could accomplish a lot.

sweetpeagj 8 years, 5 months ago

I agree that the one's responsible need to be put through a real community clean up or something. I do have a problem with people blaming the parents all the time. I was a single parent and when my son screwed up I was the one who called the cops and turned my son and the other kid he was with in. I am so tired of parents always being blamed for the things that their children do. I worked very hard to make sure he knew right from wrong and always made him pay the price of it. I didn't make excuses for him or try to get him a lighter sentence if he would have had to do some time in JDC. It worked because when a group of kids he was with got caught shoplifting he was the onlly one who didn't steal. Granted, the other kid that did the crime when he was involved his mother made every excuse in the book so that her sweet little boy didn't pay restitution. Not only did my son pay legally he also had severe actions taken that didn't allow him out of my sight. When I worked and he wasn't in school he had a babysitter. Yes, at 16 I had someone watch him.

a2thek 8 years, 5 months ago

Blame it on the blacks. Everyone else does.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 5 months ago

did any one get racial on this thread? did I miss something? hmmmmm.

actually, the only group getting pointed at seems to be distructive teen boys...no mention of race.

cutelovemonkey38 8 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry, but some of you just need to shut your mouths. Posted by Confrontation (anonymous) on October 4, 2006 at 10:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Somewhere there's an idiot parent, raising an idiot child, and ignoring the fact that the idiot child just devastated the lives of many people

That stuff is so untrue it isn't even funny. It isn't always the parents fault. Sometimes there is nothing they can do. Maybe the kids are older, like 19 or something, the parents can not do anything about that. Maybe they are drinking or on drugs, you can't blame that on the parents. And nobody is blaming the blacks. If you ask my opinion us whites are worse than blacks, we blow up at anything, most blacks only get mad if you do something really mean. I mean REALLY mean.

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