Jefferson Parish LA Dec 26 2013 Christmas Eve got off to a sour start for University of Southern Mississippi student Randolph Driscoll when he awoke Tuesday morning to find the back passenger window of his Chevrolet Trailblazer shattered by a pellet rifle. Glass covered the roadway in front of his aunt’s Ellen Drive home in Marrero, and his vehicle wasn’t the only overnight target.

Residents as early afternoon Tuesday reported 166 vehicles with windows shot in several West Bank neighborhoods, including Hillcrest, Oak Cove and Oak Forest, according to Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“Those victims who were vandalized had to wake up and face having to get their vehicles fixed the day before Christmas,” Fortunato said.

he suspects only shattered windows. No one was injured and residents did not report any stolen property. Authorities aren’t sure when the shootings occurred, but most residents discovered the damage at daybreak.

Driscoll, 24, who was just visiting for the holidays, said he parked his truck on the street Monday night with no damage. He overheard some dogs barking around midnight and said he suspected the culprits may have come through around that time.

Two other neighbors in the same block of Ellen Drive also woke to find their windows shattered. “It’s like nobody has anything better to do,” Driscoll said.

He spent most of the morning on the telephone with an auto glass shop trying to schedule a repair. “There was so many of them, they couldn’t fit me in,” he said.

A few Blocks away, Safelite Autoglass technician Ryan DuVernay worked to replace the back windshield of a minivan on Lemans Drive. He and coworkers had expected Christmas Eve to be a short, easy day.

“We planned on all of us eating a big lunch over at our office and then we were going to call it a half-day,” DuVernay said.

He had already replaced five windows in the neighborhood by 12:45 p.m. and was headed to one more residence before returning to the office where co-workers were swamped with damaged cars.

“Right now we’re at 28 vehicle glasses installed for today, and we have Thursday and Friday already booked solid,” said Bruce Cuquet, manager of the
Safelite located at 2000 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey.

Most of the damage has been to rear windshields, Cuquet said.

Victims who may already be low on cash because of holiday spending now find themselves reaching for their wallets again to pay for pricey window replacement. Repairs can cost anywhere between $200 to $1,000, Cuquet said. The jobs become more expensive if the windows include defrosters and alarms.

After combing through video from the department’s mounted crime and automated license-plate recognition cameras, Sheriff’s Office investigators released a still frame from surveillance footage that shows a silver Ford Escape they say may be linked to the crimes.

If the above car is spotted, witnesses are asked to contact JPSO Auto Theft Detective C. Dear at 504.874.4349.

Anyone with information about the Christmas Eve pellet gun-shooting spree on the West Bank is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office investigations bureau at 504.364.5300. The public can also call Crimestoppers at 504.822.1111 or toll-free at 877.903.7867. Tips can be texted to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637); text TELLCS then the crime information. Callers or texters do not have to give their names or testify, and can earn a $2,500 reward for information that leads to an indictment.
View Source