Vandals Hit Meadville Cars with Spray Paint

By Ray Smith ([email protected])

On Thursday, Oct. 15, calls began piling in to the Meadville Police Department about vandalism to vehicles. From the area around campus stretching toward downtown Meadville, vehicles were marked with black spray paint by unknown criminals. Some were lines of black paint while other car owners came back to find obscene language printed on their doors.

According to Meadville City Assistant Chief of Police Tom Liscinski, the police dealt with around 16-20 incidents.

“All the calls came in on the one day,” Liscinski said. “The biggest concentrated area was a five square block area. Several other vehicles about a mile or a mile and a half away were also hit.”

Unfortunately for Allegheny students, the concentrated area was around campus.

“The main area was from basically Smith St. over to just about Jefferson St,” Liscinski said. “That covered everything in between, including Highland.”

Ashley Miller, ’10, was one of the victims of the crime spree.

“My car was parked in the driveway of my house on Smith St,” she said. “The people just made marks, all over the driver’s side.”

When Miller called the police, they came and filed a report. It was then that Miller knew she was a part of something bigger than just an individual act of criminal mischief.

“When the police got here, they told me I was the seventeenth person to file a report with them about the same type of incident,” Miller said.

Miller, who plays soccer for the Gators, was away for the majority of fall break. On Wednesday, Oct. 14, she called the police after noticing the damage done to her vehicle.

“It could have happened when I was away for soccer or it could have happened in the middle of the night,” Miller said.

Ray Srp, ’10, also had his car vandalized in front of his house.

“My car was parked right outside of my house on Church St. They spray painted a scribble on the side of my car,” Srp said.

Since Srp is an off campus resident, like Miller, he called the police to file a report.

“They told me there isn’t a good chance that they’re going to find the people that did it, but they would let me know,” he said.

The vandals didn’t just leave the cars with scribbles of black paint. On another car on Smith St., according to Srp, the vandals wrote an expletive on the side of a vehicle.

When the police came to Srp, they told him that there were at least 20 incidents that took place. Later in the week, he heard from a fellow Allegheny student that the number was up to at least 35 cars that were vandalized.

Unfortunately, there is not much that police can do when unknown criminals spray paint cars.

“Unless someone had called in and saw it, it’s hard for us to do anything,” Liscinski said. “Nobody called in that saw them. If someone says they saw someone or heard someone talk about doing it, that would be the kind of break we need.”

Both Miller and Srp were able to get the paint off of their cars.

Srp’s resolution to the incident was taking the car downtown to a shop to have the paint removed.

“It cost me 40 dollars to get the paint off at a place downtown,” Srp said. “I was lucky because I took the car right away, and it was raining. The guy downtown told me the longer the paint sits on the car, the harder it’s going to be to get it off.”

With help from home, Miller was able to clean her car off also.

“My dad was able to get the paint off,” Miller said. “He just used some really good car wax and rubbed it until it came off. He said it wasn’t too bad and the paint wasn’t sprayed on really thick so it was easy.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Meadville Police Department at 814-724-6100.