NBC New York
Car windows are being smashed in Long Island City, but owners say nothing has been missing from their cars. Police are investigating, but the series of vandalisms is raising questions and concerns among residents. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.
Cleanup crews armed with vacuums went to work in Long Island City Wednesday afternoon, sucking up destruction strewn along Fifth Street and 48th Avenue.
"It's like a sea of glass," remarked one passerby.
The glass was the shattered remains of a car window, just one hit in dozens of similar car vandalisms in the area.
"It happened in broad daylight, on an open street, in front of an activity center," said the man whose shattered car window was at the center of Wednesday’s operation.
"I parked my car at 4," continued the man, who asked only to be identified as Brian. "My wife found it shattered at 5:30. The inside was totally ransacked."
According to residents, the smashing spree first began on Sunday and continued through Tuesday. Some residents estimated as many as 70 cars were targeted.
"They're just smashing window after window; it's ridiculous," said Kwame Blaze who works in the area.
It's unclear who's responsible for the vandalism, what the exact motive may be and just how costly the damage is. While glove compartments were opened, drivers say nothing was missing.
It's not the first time vandals have struck this upscale strip along the East River. At least nine cars were targeted in February. Now police are handing out fliers asking residents and business owners to be on alert.
"What if they start bashing in store windows?," said local business owner Bruce Barlin. "That could cost thousands of dollars in damage."
The NYPD said it is actively investigating the vandalisms. So far, they said only seven drivers have filed reports.
While insurance will cover the $300 price tag to fix Brian’s window, it won’t cover preventive measures like a parking garage. He said he’ll try his luck on the streets one more time.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 800-577-TIPS.