A car parked in the driveway of a home on Carreta Lane was vandalized with paint late Saturday or early Sunday.
“This is a felony. That’s what the Sheriff’s Department told me,” the owner of the white 1998 Mercedes said Sunday morning as he attempted to clean up the paint caked on his car and smeared on the driveway and walkway. The owner, whose name is being withheld, estimated the damage at $5,000.
A neighbor out walking saw the paint-covered vehicle and notified Security. “The paint was on every panel of the automobile,” said Security Patrol Officer Tom Coyle, who responded to the call.
The vandalism left the car covered in house paint.
The house backs up to Laguna Joaquin and a trail of paint led from the home to the path around the lake. Coyle recovered a gallon can of Wal-Mart deck and porch paint from the lake. The paint's color matches the vandalism. The paint can had holes punched in its lid. Coyle also found a pair of worn, black Vans brand shoes a few houses away from the vandalized car. The tread appears similar to footprints in the paint, he said.
Coyle said the attack on the car was apparently random. He said Security had not received any other reports of vandalism.
The vandalism is the latest in a series of car-related crimes that have hit the lower North area in the past month. The neighborhood is connected by trails and paths that provide an alternative to using the streets for access.
Of the more than a dozen car burglaries and break-ins that occurred during the week of March 10, several took place on Carreta Lane. Burglars targeted vehicles left in driveways or open garages. In some instances, they broke windows and damaged the vehicles to gain entry.
The Community Services District Security Department has offered a $1,000 reward for information about the crimes.
Residents are asked to contact Security at 354-CARE and 354-3742 to report suspicious activity or if they have any information about the vandalism or other crimes. The sheriff's Rockingham substation can be reached at 875-9600.
Security Patrol Officer Tom Coyle recovered a paint can with holes punched in the top, above, and a pair of sneakers, below.