Downtown Olympia businesses report glass-smashing overnight Tuesday

At least four downtown Olympia businesses reported glass smashed overnight Tuesday. Olympia Police are looking into whether at least two of the incidents could be connected to a man who was booked on suspicion of vandalizing a car in the area at around the same time.

The Olympia Police Department got a call about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday from someone who heard a loud crash from their second-floor apartment on the 200 block of Fourth Avenue West, Olympia Police Lt. Paul Lower told The Olympian. The caller looked out the window to see a man hitting a car with a metal object.

About a block away, police found a 51-year-old Rochester man who matched the description given by the caller.

The car had a “large dent” in one of its back doors, according to Lower, and the metal object looked to be a utility cover. The man was booked on suspicion of malicious mischief, which Lower said is the state’s equivalent to vandalism.

Lower said the man did not know the car’s owner and had no explanation for why he was allegedly damaging it.

Employees at two nearby businesses — Three Magnets Brewing Co. on Franklin Street near Legion Way and nearby restaurant Taqueria La Esquinita at Legion and Jefferson — reported broken windows shortly before the call about the car, according to Lower.

“It seems coincidental that not that far away are businesses with broken windows,” Lower said.

A Three Magnets employee reported the glass front door had been broken. Cost for fixing it is estimated at about $2,000, Lower said, and a large rock was found nearby.

Three large windows were reported damaged at Taqueria La Esquinita, Lower said, with damage estimated at about $5,000.

Lower said police are looking into whether the Rochester man may be a suspect in those two cases and are contacting area businesses for video footage and potential witnesses.

Employees at Selden’s of Olympia and Commencement Bank, both at the intersection of Franklin and Legion, told The Olympian glass at those two businesses also was broken overnight.

At Selden’s, a glass door was damaged, according to salesperson Shane Tribble. Commencement Bank employee Chris Knudsvig told The Olympian the glass front on a cash machine was discovered broken Wednesday morning.

Lower could not confirm whether those two cases were being considered as also possibly related. Police are requesting anyone with information to call the department’s business office at 360-753-8300.

Sara Gentzler joined The Olympian in June 2019. She primarily covers Thurston County government and its courts, as well as breaking news. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Creighton University.