Damage at $33K in Union Co. neighborhood car vandalism cases

Damage at $33K in Union Co. neighborhood car vandalism cases


by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC


Posted on February 4, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 1:58 PM

MONROE, N.C. -- Union County Crime Stoppers and the Hunter Oaks Homeowner's Association are both offering rewards for the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for vandalizing approximately 30 cars and causing more than $33,000 in damage.

Hunter Oaks is offering $500.  Union County says Crimestoppers will determine the amount after they get information leading to an arrest.

A few streets in Hunter Oaks, including Staghorn Lane, Coachman Drive and Huntsmaster Place, had the most damage with multiple cars scratched with keys or a screwdriver.

"They took a key to the trunk, both doors here and the roof of our car," said victim Heidi Sweeney while showing us her husband's 2011 Dodge Avenger.

A swear word is also carved into the car.

Damage to the Avenger is estimated at $3,000.  Sweeney's daughter's car also has several scratches, including a smiley face.  The damage estimate to the daughter's car is $4,000.

"They had a screwdriver and walked along the spoiler right along the edge," said neighbor Steve Smith, who's wife's car was also damaged.

"It totally ticks you off.  Just a couple of punks running around damaging other people's property," he said.

Smith showed footprints from his driveway and in his yard to his neighbor's driveway, where a minivan was scratched.

Neighbors have insurance but have to shell out for deductibles.

Sweeney's husband's car is so bad he won't drive it.

"He had to take time off work today. I had to take time off work today, so it's more than just insurance will pay for most of it.  It's taking security out of living here," she said.

That's because neighbors think whoever is doing this also lives here and could be just a few driveways or streets away.

Fixing the cars will take new paint jobs. But some types of scratches run deeper and are harder to repair.

"Because you think you can trust your neighbor—obviously you can't," said Smith.

Deputies say they do not have a suspect. Whoever scratched up all the cars also vandalized at least one yard fixture and threw garbage into the street.