East Ridge, TN – A string of businesses and the East Ridge Police Department have been vandalized, some more than once, over the course of October and November.
East Ridge Police Chief Stan Allen says 15 to 20 businesses were attacked, with WDEF reporting over 22 incidents total.
It appears that someone has been driving by the businesses and shooting projectiles through windows.
The perpetrator could be using some sort of slingshot or wrist rocket to launch a marble-like object to break the store-front windows.
“People are coming in the mornings and they are finding damage to their windows and it appears to be some sort of projectile, like maybe a marble.”, Chief Allen said.
Even some neighboring areas have experienced similar damage.
“All of them have been unoccupied businesses, but the threat is they are damaging people’s property,” Allen said.
Some instances of vandalism have happened to businesses more than once.
Regions Bank has been confirmed to have been hit twice now.
The Hamilton County Trump Headquarters was also among the establishments vandalized.
“Tis the season. Crime seems to climb in the month of December come Christmas time.” said George Miller, a collision body shop owner.
“Normally this time of year we have to up our security at our place and make sure everything is top notch.”
None of the businesses were able to catch any surveillance footage of the vandals, and many of the businesses don’t have security cameras to begin with.
“They just haven’t hit any place that has cameras yet. If somebody does get their windows broken and they’ve got surveillance video, of course we’d love to have it.”, said Chief Allen.
“Basically, it’s going to take somebody seeing the crime happening and getting a tag number and reporting it to us.”, he said.
The businesses that have been impacted are Check Into Cash, Rock Point Auto, R&R Tires, EPG Homes, J103 Radio Station, Trump Headquarters, Regions Bank, Arby’s, State Farm, Tina’s Nails, Nivag Ministries International, Cash Express, and Smart Bank.
There are several others that are either vacant buildings or homeowners.