Vandals target Third Street, breaking windows, tagging businesses
August 28, 2008 · Updated 9:45 AM
MARYSVILLE Vandals were busy on Third Street last week, where several merchants had windows broken and were tagged with extensive graffiti, prompting business owners to conduct overnight stakeouts to catch the perpetrators.
Someone threw bricks through the windows of the Finders Keepers antique mall but owner Judy Goozee said nothing was stolen, just the large window panes shattered over a vintage couch. Sheets of plywood covered the store, which was open for business as usual.
The A to Zinc nutrition store was one of several shops tagged on the upper facades of the buildings; Third Street Interiors had also been hit up top, where vandals accessed the roofs and painted the walls of the building.
The damage has incensed property owners who complained about a lack of police response and said they would be keeping watch on the area after hours.
Caterer Mark Langmas said he was cleaned out by thieves who borrowed shopping carts from the grocery store across State Avenue for an illicit shopping spree a few nights ago, hauling away food from his outdoor freezer. Langmas owns the Moveable Feast catering company and was surveying the damage with Kip Goozee, owner of Finders Keepers. Goozee wasnt happy with the police, saying Marysville cops took four hours to respond. The damage to his storefront and the other vandalism is just the latest in a series of attacks and he said he would be doing something about it. He pointed to the upper facades of the businesses across the street from Finders Keepers.
This is ongoing; theyve been up there three times in three weeks, Goozee said. Im going to be down here at nights. You can write that.
Sarah Olson works at the A to Zinc nutrition store owned by her grandmother and was upset too. Vandals used garbage cans to get on the roof of nearby buildings and tagged the front and sides of the vitamin shop that has been in business for nine years at the site of a former feed store.
Poor Third Street has been hit with stuff forever, Olson said, adding that police could catch the perpetrators by just watching for one night.
The damage was a case in point for the city, which now allows property owners 30 days to clean up or cover graffiti and is considering shortening that time frame to as little as 48 or 96 hours. That could be a problem for Olsons grandmother who is in her late 60s and has been sick. Getting up on a ladder with a paint brush is not in the cards for her, Olson said. Another nearby merchant has been covering up persistent graffiti on the shops lower walls for a long time, but Olson didnt know how the stuff on the upper reaches would get taken care of.
Its taken a while. If I wasnt afraid of heights I would do it myself, Olson said.
Insurance will cover most of the costs but their agent gave them no timeline for when that would be done, and in the meantime the store couldnt cover it up until their carrier was able to document and survey the damage for a claim to be filed, she added. Proposals to give owners as little as 24 hours to cover graffiti were too stringent according to Olson but 72 hours was more reasonable for a quick cover up.
The owners of the building should cover it up and then the painting should be done, she explained.
Goozee and Langmas were talking about installing surveillance cameras on Third Street and the adjacent alleys and said that would stakeout the district at night.
We cant just lay down, Goozee said. Weve got to do something.
Meanwhile other merchants were busy hanging banners and putting their best foot forward. Carrs Hardware owner Darlene Scott was helping employee Todd Taylor hang banners on the antique light poles fronting Third Street. Scott sells lot of paint and has been covering the A to Zinc walls and those of other businesses, especially the alley to the south of Third Street. She pointed to broken glass littering the alley from a recent car prowl.