Police are asking for the public’s help in finding suspects responsible for causing several thousands of dollars of damage to car windows across the East Valley with a pellet gun.
Phoenix police first saw incidents of car windows being shattered with pellet or BB guns in February. The incidents dropped off temporarily, but have started again since the beginning of August. Around the same time Chandler police say they began to see the same thing in their city.
The incidents all happen overnight or during the early morning hours to vehicles parked on the street or in driveways. The scope of the incidents are random. Some cars had several windows broken, while others just have the rear window shattered. Some witnesses have said they saw someone get out of a car and use a bat to shatter windows rather than shooting them with a pellet gun, but it’s unknown if that incident is related to the others. The cases spread from Ahwatukee Foothills to Gilbert.
There have been several different possible suspect vehicles identified by witnesses. Multiple suspects may be involved.
More than 100 broken windows have been reported in Chandler, said Sgt. Joe Favazzo of the Chandler Police Department. Sgt. Joel Tranter of the Phoenix Police Department said he estimates 30 incidents have occurred in Ahwatukee Foothills in the past two weeks.
“I just had to replace a window in my own car and it was $450,” Favazzo said. “That was a side window. I don’t know what it costs to replace the rear window. If you get two or three windows broken out of your car you’re looking at $600 to $1,000 in damage. That has to come out of your pocket or you’re going to pay a deductible. So in Chandler we’ve had 100 vehicles, at $1,000 of damage for each, that’s $100,000 worth of restitution someone is going to get stuck paying. If they’re juveniles it’s going to be the parents.”
Silent Witness is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the suspect’s arrest and/or indictment. Residents are encouraged to call Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS (948-6377) with any possible information.
To keep from being a victim, Favazzo recommends parking in a covered garage, if possible, or installing motion-censored lights on your property.
“When the glass breaks and it sets the alarm off, hopefully someone will look outside and get a better description,” he said. “If you see someone acting suspicious in your neighborhood, call the police right away. That’s how we’re going to catch them.”