Homeowners and visitors got an unexpected shock to the senses – finding their car exteriors scratched by what neighbors describe as a group of three vandals on Clarence Avenue between Philip and Lafayette avenues on Saturday, February 7.
The vandalism affected approximately 20 cars parked on the west side of the street and in the American Turner Club parking lot, and occurred between approximately 7:30 and 10 p.m.
Clarence Avenue resident Frank Bevilacqua caught the vandals on videotape that he has provided to the 45th Precinct.
“I have a video camera on the lawn in front of my house,” Bevilacqua said. “It caught the kids running back and forth from the scene at about 7:50 p.m. while wearing hoods that were obscuring their faces, and then again between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. without the hoods.”
According to the 45th Precinct Community Affairs office, officers from the detective squad and Conditions are investigating approximately eight reports of criminal mischief in the area that evening.
Police confirmed that one damaged car had an obscene message referring to male gentiles carved on its hood.
Bevilacqua said that his tenant’s brand new car suffered a lot of damage, and that many residents of the block had varying degrees of scratching done to their vehicles. The owner of a brand new Mercedes also had his car keyed as he attended a party at Turners.
The same three teenagers have been observed throwing rocks at houses, Bevilacqua said. Bevilacqua was one of the first to notice the vandalism, and called the police at around 9:45 p.m. on February 7.
Throggs Neck Home Owners Association president Lynn Gerbino said that she was very upset that so much property could be damaged in such a great neighborhood, especially given these tough economic times and the cost of body shop repairs.
“Something like the keying of these cars will not be tolerated,” Gerbino said. “All of these incidents need to be reported to the police – no matter how small. We are watching these teenagers; they should know that they will be prosecuted. This is people’s property that they are destroying and in this day and age, when many people don’t have a lot of money, it especially can’t be tolerated.”