Residents of a west Olympia apartment building awoke Sunday morning to eight vandalized vehicles and spray-painted insults, including a racial epithet directed at African Americans, according to Olympia police and a victim’s boyfriend who contacted The Olympian.
Also spray painted on a vehicle was the word, “Trump,” and “Got youre (stuff),” according to a police report shared with the newspaper Monday morning.
Lt. Paul Lower, a spokesman for the police department, described the incident as a fairly aggressive and scary case of vandalism.
“This is concerning for us,” he said, adding that if the suspects were bold enough to do this, what will they do next?
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He said the officer investigating the case is interviewing neighbors, talking to other apartment residents and is in search of video that may have captured what happened. Police do not have a suspect or suspect description. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 360-753-8300.
A police report provides the following account:
▪ Eight vehicles were damaged, with estimated damage at $250 per vehicle.
▪ One resident emerged to find that all the doors of her car were opened and that someone had rifled through the glove box and thrown the contents about in the vehicle. A message was spray-painted in silver across the passenger side windows.
▪ Another woman found “Trump” spray-painted in silver on the passenger side windows and side mirror. The woman later removed “Trump” from her car with a razor blade, according to police.
▪ Another resident found that a racial epithet had been spray-painted in silver across the hood of her car. That woman could not be immediately reached Monday, but in the report she said she “has not been harassed for being African American recently, but feels like she is being targeted in a hate crime.”
Leo O’Leary, who lives with his girlfriend at the apartment building, contacted police after he got up early Sunday to take her to work. The doors to her car were open, and it had spray paint on the side.
He said the apartment complex has experienced vehicle prowls before, but nothing like what happened Sunday.
O’Leary said he feels especially bad for the woman who had the racial epithet spray-painted across the hood of her car. In response, some residents had placed flowers on the car, he said.
“We were initially upset and felt pretty violated,” said O’Leary about his and his girlfriend’s reaction to their car damage. But it’s probably nothing like the pain the other woman feels.
“No words or apologies can make her feel safe in our community again,” he said.
Lt. Lower said the suspect, if arrested, likely would face a felony charge based on the extensive damage and malicious harassment.