Vandalism headaches for Broken Arrow residents

Tuesday, June 18th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Some broken spirits in Broken Arrow Tuesday after a rash of vandalism overnight.

Police say four or five cars had their windows smashed by bricks or rocks. As News on Six reporter Steve Berg explains, a split-second of malice is going to cost many hours of hard work.

Michelle Bates just got her Ford Escort paid off last year. Tuesday morning, she discovered someone had smashed a brick through her back window and cracked the windshield. "Stupid crime that doesn't make any sense at all. And having to take a day off of work and have everything fixed and cleaned up. It's just really frustrating."

Since the car was paid off, Michelle had reduced her insurance coverage to liability only. A single mom, she says she doesn't have a lot of money to throw around. "First place I called to get both windows replaced was going to be like $1,500 and of course now I only have liability so my insurance isn't going to help out."

Across the street, Houston Graham was visiting a friend's house and found the back window smashed on his car that he works part-time to help pay for. A high school student who just moved to Oklahoma a couple of months ago, he agrees it's not the most friendly welcome. "Not really, but hopefully it'll get better."

So what do the folks here do about vandalism? Well, short of wringing the suspects' necks like one person wanted to do, they say they should have some kind of neighborhood watch program. In the meantime, Michelle has only her damaged car to look at. The brick not only broke the glass, but also dented the trunk lid and ripped the upholstery on a car that she had taken good care of. “If you ever want to resell it, you can forget about that, no one's going to want it with all that damage." It may have been her car that got hit, but she's the one with the headache.

Broken Arrow Police say they'll be stepping up bike patrols in the area. They also say if all the separate cases are considered as one crime, it could qualify as a felony.