An unknown perpetrator vandalized the side mirrors of eight cars, at least six of which belong to students, along Oak Hill Avenue on Jan. 20. The crime is the second of two similar crimes to happen to vehicles parked on the street.
According to a Delaware Police Department report filed the next day, the incidents occurred around 9:30 p.m. DPD Captain Bruce Pijanowski said there are no suspects in the case.
“Typically we either catch them in the act or immediately after,” he said, “and the longer it goes, the harder it is to determine who did it because there’s no physical evidence at a crime scene like that.”
Sophomore Annaliese Harvey, one of the victims, said the damage done to her vehicle was not as severe as that done to others.
“My mirror was just flipped around, and luckily I do not have to pay to have it repaired,” she said.
The Transcript reported on 31 similar vandalisms that occurred on Nov. 5, 2011. The affected vehicles also had their side mirrors knocked off or severely damaged. A witness described the only suspect in that case as “a white male, with short blonde hair and a gray blazer.”
Harvey said she thinks the recent incident is a “similar situation, but unrelated” to the November crimes. Pijanowski said it’s doubtful the same person is responsible for both incidents, but doesn’t rule out the possibility.
“If you have one person walking through there that thinks it’s funny and they did it in November, it’s possible they did it again,” he said. “On the other hand, it’s kind of like a turkey shoot. It could be anything at this point.”
According to Pijanowski, vandalism offenses like these are “not unusual” in Delaware, but don’t regularly occur in such great numbers.
“What is unusual is having that large cluster,” he said. “The number involved is somewhat atypical.”
Such acts violate Ohio Revised Code statute 2909.06, which prohibits “creat[ing] a substantial risk of physical harm to any property of another without the other person’s consent.”
The damage done to the vehicles in this case constitutes a second-degree misdemeanor under the statute.
Pijanowski advises any Delaware resident to call DPD at the first sign of any such occurrence. “When someone sees or hears what’s going on and calls us, that’s when those types of crimes are solved,” he said. “It’s very helpful to keep your eyes and ears open.”