Police get 26 more car vandalism reports

Tuesday, November 13, 2001

The Cape Girardeau Police Department has formed a task force to find those responsible for breaking the windows of as many as 60 vehicles, mostly in residential areas, within the past two months.

The most recent spree took place Saturday night and in the early hours Sunday when police received reports of 26 vandalized vehicles. Items such as radar detectors, stereos and cell phones were stolen from five.

The task force of five officers includes detectives and patrolmen, police Lt. Carl Kinnison said. Kinnison said police have no idea who is responsible.

"That is so difficult to say," he said. "The type of things they're stealing -- going into the dash, taking CDs, radar detectors -- you tend to think it's probably some person or group of persons relatively young."

He said young people tend to look for that type of equipment.

Much of the vandalism took place along Perry Avenue and its side streets on Saturday. But Kinnison said overall it is has been fairly random. At first, similar acts were taking place on Kingshighway, but it has since shifted in various directions.

"There doesn't appear to be any established pattern," Kinnison said.

None of the department's leads has materialized, Kinnison said.

If police are frustrated, so are the victims.

"This is the third one in two months," said Charles Jaco, 44, who lives at 1701 N. West End Boulevard. "I've been having some bad luck with car windows."

Jaco owns three automobiles, and within the past two months each one has had the windows smashed by vandals.

"It's irritating to say the least," said 29-year-old Brad Gentry, who left his girlfriend's apartment on Perryville Road Sunday morning to find his pickup with smashed windows. "They didn't take anything, and all they would have had to do was push it through."

Al Atchley, 45, was awakened Sunday morning by police, who told him his 1990 Ford Ranger's window had been broken. Atchley lives at 1808 Ferndale.

"I don't enjoy spending money out of my own pocket to fix it, but my big concern is people's attitude," Atchley said. "People don't seem to care about other people's property anymore."

smoyers@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 137

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