Friday the 13th turned out to be very unlucky for several people in the Mount Vernon area — for their cars at least. Phone calls and emails poured into the newspaper Friday morning about multiple cars being bit by BB guns in Collingwood and Waynewood.
Capt. Mike Kline, commander Mount Vernon Station, said that they have some suspects but are not ready to make an arrest. He also said that whoever is arrested would only be charged with destruction of private property; it was unlikely that they would be charged with anything more serious like reckless discharge of a firearm.
MPO Greg Kottemann, crime prevention officer for the Mount Vernon District Station, sent out an email this week, asking for the public’s assistance.
“I have gotten calls about the recent vehicle tamperings involving the breaking or shooting out of vehicle windows. I just spoke to Lt. Proffitt — supervisor of our property crimes unit — and he let me know that we have had a total of 25 cases reported to us from five different communities. This figure does not include any phone reporting or on-line reporting cases as there is a bit of lag time until they are delivered to the station.
“That being said, I imagine this is a small portion of the actual cases out there. These cases are being assigned and worked by a detective and a school resource officer.
I need your help . please canvass your Watch Members and see if anyone saw or heard anything suspicious in the overnight periods on May 12 [Thursday], or May 13 [Friday]. Anything like an out-of-place car, a car full of kids riding around, suspicious noises or breaking glass, descriptions of individuals, plate numbers of cars, or anything you think may help the detectives. You can send any information to me and I will put it into a package for the detectives.
“Cases like these are extremely hard to solve based on the time of day, few if any witnesses, and little if any physical evidence. These are exactly the type of cases where a good Neighborhood Watch is vital as it is quite possible someone in the community has seen or heard something and they don’t cognitively know it. Getting the word out to the widest possible swath of your community is the best way to build vigilance and gain participation.
“Hopefully the perpetrators will get loose lips and spill the beans to a friend who has a good conscience.”
IN COLLINGWOOD, several cars were hit. Known cases are two on Neal Drive, four on Felton Lane and one on West Boulevard.
Anne Norberg reported her car — parked on the street in front of the house — was vandalized Thursday night.
“It seems that several cars in the neighborhood were similarly attacked — the police are going around checking for others right now — someone shot out the windows with a BB gun apparently,” Norberg said.
She also said that the police came round the neighborhood early Friday morning to identify all the cars that were damaged and, at the time the officer came to her, he said he knew of four or five others.
“I have since heard from another neighbor that there might have been as many as 11 cars in the neighborhood vandalized. The policeman said that during the late evening/early night Thursday/Friday — about 11:30 [p.m.] -12:30 [a.m.] — one lady heard a car revving up and funny noises. Apparently our car windows and mirror were shot out with a BB gun. It’s just so senseless.”
Norberg said that the cost to repair will be around $400. Jeff Feinstein, whose van was hit in front of his house, said he wasn’t sure how much it would cost to repair.
Kent Siegel, Neighborhood Watch coordinator for Waynewood, reported that rear windows in two vehicles were smashed last night at two adjacent residences in the 8400 block of Conover Place.
“IT IS BELIEVED that both, a pickup truck and a van, were parked in the street. Some sort of projectiles appeared to have been shot or hurled from a drive-by vehicle. Police were called to the scene this morning. To reduce the risk of this sort of vandalism visiting you, park vehicles off street at night,” Siegel said.
Siegel also reported that windows on a sport sedan, parked in the street on Eden Court at West Boulevard Drive were shot out around midnight Friday night. The resident heard noises and saw two males depart in a box-like car — not an SUV — slamming doors and revving the engine. No shots were heard, but BBs were recovered when the damage was discovered and investigated by police this morning.