Reporting Mai Martinez
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ELGIN, Ill. (CBS) – Are people being targeted by vandals in one suburban neighborhood or are they just innocent victims?
That’s the question Elgin police are trying to figure out after several cars were vandalized Monday – and it wasn’t the first time.
As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, vandals have hit cars on Parkway Avenue in Elgin a number of times.
Cory Morgan got a rude awakening as she left for work Monday. The rear window of her SUV was completely shattered.
“I open the front door and windows are smashed. There’s glass everywhere. It’s a mess,” Cory Morgan said.
Morgan might have been surprised, if it hadn’t already happened two other times – once on Aug. 6 and again on Oct. 13.
And Morgan isn’t alone. Elgin police said at least three other vehicles were vandalized Monday, and possibly two dozen more in the neighborhood have been vandalized over the past five months, including Morgan’s other vehicle, a Mitsubishi.
“I’m assuming it’s kids and they just don’t realize how much it is to get a car fixed,” she said.
So far it has cost Morgan $1,600 in repairs, not including the latest damage.
The vandalism might cost Morgan even more, because the vandals have also struck the company car she uses for work. Twice they’ve knocked out the back window.
“One more time and I lose the company vehicle,” she said. “I’ll have to take the Trailblazer, pay the gas.”
“That’s a strain on my job. It’s a strain on my income. I have an 8-year-old daughter that I take care of and it’s hard as it is, let alone not having a company vehicle to drive. Obviously a Chevy Cobalt gets better gas (mileage) than a Chevy Trailblazer.”
The vandals haven’t stolen anything. Elgin police said they aren’t surprised to hear that.
“The motive really is just sometimes boredom and they just want to destroy something,” Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said.
Swoboda also said, often times, the vandals are kids who don’t realize that, if caught, they could be facing felony charges and jail time.
“They think it’s kind of fun to go out and do this, but it actually can ruin their lives in the future,” he said.
Elgin Police were stepping up patrols in the area, but they said they need the community’s help. They’re asking people to report any suspicious activity, such as groups of people repeatedly walking down the street or a car circling the block several times.
They also suggested that people park their cars inside garages, if possible, and leave their porch lights on.