(Steven Lane/The Columbian)Buy this photo
Repeat vandalism has recently plagued businesses on a strip of 39th Street in the Lincoln neighborhood. The vandals smash windows, break lights and even steal chocolate and fish.
Surveillance camera footage shows two male suspects breaking the walk-up window at Latte Da Coffeehouse and Wine Bar at 205 E. 39th St. with a steel baseball bat early Wednesday morning; they reached through the window and nabbed a package of powdered chocolate before fleeing. The baseball bat was recovered by police as evidence.
The vandalism started a couple of weeks ago when the patio light was pulled out and smashed on the ground. Owner Scott Flury simply replaced the light. On New Year's Day, employees found a brick that had apparently damaged the side of the building. Just three days later, vandals broke two windows and more outdoor lights.
"It's very frustrating," Flury said. "I need to live in faith that it's not going to continue."
He's meeting with the Lincoln Neighborhood Association today at 6 p.m. to talk about the area's property crimes. Flury and other local business employees say the unlit alley between 38th and 39th streets could be inviting for criminals.
The recent crime has been bad for business.
"I wish I could just turn the other cheek," Flury said.
A sign at the Trinity Lutheran Church at West 39th and Columbia streets reads "Vandals, you're forgiven! Join us for worship 10:30 a.m."
Just next door to Latte Da, Farmers Insurance Group has had several lawn lights broken and a 20-inch koi fish stolen from the pond in front of its building.
Farmers plans to install a large light, says agent assistant Blanca Guerrero. She often sees teenagers walking in the alleyway behind the building.
When hairdresser Debi Clark came into work Wednesday morning at Prima Bella Salon, 3905 N.W. Washington St., she found a large window had been smashed and chunks of glass littered the salon floor.
Down the street, West Vancouver Dental has had similar ongoing problems for the last month.
Vandals broke a back window at the beginning of December, says dentist office financial coordinator Jennifer Fraser. A wine bottle, brick and planner were left behind. About a week later, vandals broke another window.
"We don't know what to do," Fraser said. "It's been one building after another, just back and forth."
The dental office plans to install security cameras.
Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp says people should report property crimes to the police either by calling 360-487-7355 or online at http://www.cityofvancouver.us/policereports/. If you see a property crime in progress, call 911.