More cars hit by vandals

These thugs targeted gas guzzlers in PPW vandalism
Community Newspaper Group / Joe Anuta

It’s a smashing spree.

Vandals smashed the windows of three more cars last week, part of a pattern of attacks against drivers that saw 12 SUV and minivan window broken along Prospect Park.

The latest auto attacks, which occurred along Sterling Place on Nov. 4, bore the same hallmarks: in all three incidents, a pellet or small stone shattered the glass, several cars in a row were vandalized, and nothing was taken from the disfigured vehicles.

“Usually [criminals] break in to steal a computer or a phone,” said 77th Precinct Capt. Elvio Capocci. “But this time it was vandalism.”

But one stark difference stands out.

In Park Slope, the hoodlums targeted gas-guzzling vans and sports utility vehicles, while in Prospect Heights, no brand was safe, and one alarmed resident said a line of cars was seemingly targeted at random.

“On our block alone, there were about five vandalized cars,” said Paul Brill, who lives on Sterling Place near Underhill Avenue. “This is unheard of.”

Brill, along with other residents, believes that the senseless smashings are only one part of a general increase in neighborhood mischief.

“There’s been more crime in general,” said resident Rachel Disalvo. “It’s like a new thing every month. Last time it was a guy on a bike stealing people’s cell phones.”

Total crime in the 77th Precinct is up nearly 14 percent since last year — but down 45 percent from 2001 levels, and 70 percent from the violent days of 1993, according to police documents.

And Capocci said most of those numbers come from other neighborhoods in the precinct, not the small Prospect Heights portion of the sprawling zone.

“Prospect Heights is my quiet area,” he said, adding that a few muggings or robberies might spook residents of a largely crime-free area. “It’s not an overwhelming problem.”

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