BB vandalism cases still on the rise

Published 9:57 am Monday, May 3, 2010

The count is up to at least 20 for recently reported cases of BB gun vandalism in Austin.

On Friday, a report came from the 900 block of Fourth Avenue Northwest regarding a car with dents and chipped paint, likely from fired pellets. That call came in around 6 p.m. but the incident likely occurred early Friday or earlier, according to a police report.

Also Friday, the owner of Excalibur Laundries in the 900 block of First Avenue Southwest reported damage to the store’s south-facing windows. The owner said he was first told of the damage by an employee on Wednesday but didn’t notify police for two days.

On Sunday, an employee at Calvary Cemetery on Fourth Drive Southwest reported damage to an office window. That same employee said the window was fine when he left work on Friday evening.

Lastly, a report came in early Monday from the 300 block of Seventh Street Southwest. There, a vehicle sustained windshield damage from what appeared to be either a rock or pellet projectile.

Calls first started coming regarding BB gun vandalism early Wednesday, and it is believed that many if not all of the incidents occurred between late Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Police received a possible suspect vehicle description from one witness. That vehicle is being described as a dark-colored, older and smaller SUV. No make or model has been determined, though police said it was similar in style to a Chevrolet Blazer.

Police have not, however, identified a suspect or suspects, and Lt. John Mueller said it is too early in the investigation to say definitively how many people were involved and whether all the cases were related.

The overall damage is estimated at several thousand dollars.

Anyone with tips is asked to call the Austin Police Department at (507) 437-9400.