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Carrollton targeted by vandalism: Detectives believe damage may be in the tens of thousands
The city of Carrollton is pulling itself back together this week after several instances of vandalism occurred throughout the city in neighborhoods bordered by West Trinity Mills Road, North Josey Lane and State Highway 121.
At 3:02 a.m. on June 30, the Carrollton Police Department began receiving its first 911 calls reporting damages to vehicles. First offenses of the weekend were mainly window and glass breakings, said Coppell Commander Doug Mitchell said.
"There are a bunch of mad cops," he said. "It has created a lot of work for a lot of people. I was talking to the midnight guys who were working this weekend and they were upset and they were embarrassed. This rarely happens in our town, I have been here 18, almost 19 years, and only twice have we had a spree of criminal mischief like this, but neither one of them were this big. This is an anomaly."
Residents first reported cars parked along streets in a residential area had been vandalized, according to an official statement. Police said suspects threw eggs at the cars and then broke windshields, windows and exterior mirrors with a pipe, bat or club, Mitchell said.
As of noon Monday, Carrollton PD received 107 reports of vandalism.
"We had five detectives working here over the weekend," Mitchell said. "The investigation is still ongoing and there are several leads we are following up on. I really can't disclose much information for fear it would jeopardize the investigation. We don't have enough to make a case just yet, but I am confident that we will identify these people and hold them accountable."
One offense was captured on surveillance video, according to an official statement, which showed young males in a white four-door mid-90s Nissan or Toyota sedan driving up to a Dodge pickup parked in the 1200 block of Dentonshire Drive. They are seen breaking the windshield and a mirror off the vehicle.
"We know there are at least three because the surveillance video we got Friday night showed a car driving with three people, two of which were sitting on the doors of the back seat with the windows rolled down brandishing a club, a pipe or something," Mitchell said. "They would drive up next to a car parked on the curb and beat the windows out. They would never get out of the car.'
Mitchell said all of the offenses are in the same area of the city. The department doesn't know the purpose of the crimes, but Mitchell said, "These individuals have no regard for other people's property, just themselves."
Criminal charges will be filed once the individuals are arrested, but Mitchell said the degree depends on the grand total of all damages.
"It's all going to depend on the value ladder," he said. "If it exceeds $1,500 but is less than $20,000 then it is a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in a state penitentiary. But if it exceeds the $20,000 level, which some detectives believe it will, that increases the penalty to a third degree felony which is punishable by two to 10 years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both."
Victims are encouraged to bring copies of their estimates from repair centers or body shops to the police department.
"Once we get them all in we will aggregate them all together and add it up to one grand total," Mitchell said. "The detectives are pretty confident that the total will reach the third degree felony level. Everyone's total is going to be different because the deductable and insurance companies are all different, but there will be some kind of out-of-pocket cost to everyone."
Residents are asked to stay vigilant and if there are any strange or abnormal occurrences, call the Coppell Police Department.
"If you can, take your cars from the street and put them in the garage," he said. "It's obvious these guys are looking for targets of opportunity."
Anyone with information should call the Carrollton PD non-emergency line at 972-466-3333.