Vandalism spree frustrates Vancouver neighbors


by Tim Gordon, KGW Reporter

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 10 at 9:21 PM

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Police, businesses and residents are watching over property, trying to catch whoever is causing thousands of dollars in property damage in the city’s Lincoln neighborhood.

Several businesses and homes on and near 39th street have been targeted in the past several weeks.

The trouble began for Latte Da cafe owner Scott Flury the week between Christmas and New Year's, and it hasn’t stopped. The coffee and wine café has had three broken windows, broken lights, and other damage.

“Well it’s frustrating and the first thing you do is you wonder where are their parents,” said Flury.

Security video shows what appear to be two teenage boys wielding a sledgehammer and bat. It has made Flury sleepless at times.

“I woke up last night at 1:30 and got in the car and drove down here and sat in here in the dark house for a while, and it’s just kind of that unnerving. Are they bold enough to do it again?”

Other businesses suffering similar damage include a dental office, an insurance office, and a salon. A church has also been vandalized, with graffiti, broken windows, even eggs thrown onto the building.

“It’s a hassle and it costs a lot of money," Pastor Katherine Hellier of Trinity Lutheran Church said. "Even with insurance… you sort of wonder after they do it, they don’t see the results ... so what’s the satisfaction that they kind of imagine?"

Still, the message on the reader board in front of the church offers forgiveness to the vandals, and welcomes them to Sunday service.

“Which I just think is a wonderful way to get the message out that we are about grace and forgiveness and come and join us instead of being against us,” said Hellier.

Vancouver Police have stepped up patrols in the Lincoln neighborhood, and ask everyone to report any vandalism or suspicious activity.

The Lincoln Neighborhood Association is hosting a gathering for people to discuss the vandalism, Friday evening at 6 p.m. at Latte Da Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, 205 East 39th Street, Vancouver.