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21 businesses were vandalized in July; windows targeted
Ken Schultz, owner of C&C Fiberglass, on Tuesday shows recent damage to the company's window. C&C Fiberglass is among 21 businesses along Virginia Avenue in Collinsville that have been vandalized since July1. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Since July 1, more than 20 businesses along Virginia Avenue in Collinsville have been vandalized, authorities have said.
Joe Bryant of Bryant Radio, which is located on Virginia Avenue in Collinsville, said a pane in his plate glass window was shot out about two weeks ago.
“(Vandals) got mine plus about six others along the strip,” Bryant said. “Myself personally, I think it’s probably just some young kids riding around joy-riding. They just don’t have anything else to do with their time.”
Unfortunately, “it not only costs us but may cost them,” he said. “Everything we do reflects in our price.”
“You hate to say you have to put it in your price,” he said, but somehow, expenses must be recouped.
The guilty parties also will pay in other ways, Bryant said, and noted that “eventually, they are going to get caught.”
“They will be out riding around one night and shooting out glasses, and a deputy will be behind a building and catch them,” he said.
C&C Fiberglass owner Ken Schultz said a couple of alarms went off in his business over the past few of weeks, and he also has found “two or three little places in my windows where I guess somebody was shooting pellet or BB guns.”
The last time vandals struck Collinsville businesses, some of his windows were shot out and had to be replaced, he recalled.
“(Since then) I haven’t had any problems here until the last two or three weeks,” Schultz said. “Why does somebody need to do that? I don’t have a clue.”
The two businesses are among the 21 damaged by vandals since July 1, Henry County Sheriff’s Capt. Rik Vaughn said.
Authorities estimate the damage at $400 to $500 per large window, Vaughn said.
He noted the total number of affected businesses does not include those that experience damage more than once.
Motor Imports is in that category, according to Manager Tami Carroll.
About two weeks ago, vandals shot out one of the company’s glass doors in the front of the building around midnight, she said.
“Then of course, we had to come in and get that fixed,” Carroll said. “The very next night, they came back and shot (out a window).”
Store employees boarded up the window while waiting for a replacement glass to be delivered, she said.
“(Repairs) are very expensive,” Carroll said. “Number one, my insurance deductible is so high that I have to pay for it out of pocket. It cost me about $800 to fix those two windows, and this is not the first time it’s happened.”
In April 2009, vandals shot out about six of the company’s windows, she said. Carroll and her husband spent the night inside the business then.
“This is getting old,” Carroll said of the vandalism. She speculated that perhaps “somebody out there is having a big time, but it’s costing us.”
“And it’s not only me, but a lot of businesses up and down here had a lot of glass breakage,” she added. “Something needs to be done about it.”
Carroll, Bryant and Schultz all said they know authorities are aware of the problems and are working to find those responsible.
Vaughn said there are extra patrol units on duty “trying to stop this.”
In addition, cameras have been placed in the windows of some of the affected stores to help catch whoever may be responsible, said Henry County Sheriff Lane Perry.
During his years in the sheriff’s office, Perry said he has noticed that vandals “hit in spells.”
“You go for a period of time, and there are a few isolated incidents, but occasionally, it seems like every few years, vandals use some type of an air weapon, a BB gun or a pellet gun (to vandalize several businesses in a short period),” Perry said.
“These acts are really hurting already strapped businesses because it really is costly to store owners,” Perry said.
Their insurance often is high for glass replacement, and there is a high deductible, he added.
Authorities asked that anyone with any information about the incidents call the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at 638-8751, or Crime Stoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463).
Rewards of up to $1,000 are available through Crime Stoppers for information related to unsolved crimes. The amount of any reward is determined by the nature of the crime and the substance of information provided.