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Police investigating rash of vandalized cars

July 23, 2002|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg City Police Department has received about 50 complaints from residents of the west end of the city who had their car windows shot out early Monday.

It appears the car windows were shot out with a pellet gun or a BB gun, police said.

Most of the car vandalisms started after midnight Monday and occurred on Porter Avenue, Kentucky Avenue, Stephen Street and John Street, said Detective George Swartwood of the Martinsburg City Police Department.

A witness observed a suspicious person at 4 a.m. in the Porter Avenue area, police said.

The witness told police that a small gray car, possibly a 1985 to 1987 Mercury Lynx, was stopped near one of the damaged cars. There were three to four white males in their late teens or 20s in the car, the witness said.

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Someone stepped out of the car and approached one of the damaged cars, police said. The witness then heard something, possibly breaking glass, police said.

There was a string of similar incidents last week in the northeast section of Martinsburg in which windshields were broken in about five cars, police said. It is unclear if the two incidents are related, police said.

It did not appear that anything was stolen from the cars that were vandalized Monday morning, police said.

It appears to be random vandalism, Swartwood said.

Anyone with information about the vandalism or knows who committed the crimes may call Martinsburg City Police at 304-264-2100 or Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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