Multiple Businesses Vandalized on Wells Avenue

By: Auburn Hutton Email
By: Auburn Hutton Email

Two businesses, The Barbecue House and Wells Avenue Vacuum were vandalized Monday night. Both owners are recuperating and both have different opinions about how police are handling it.

Gilbert Cortez arrived at work to find broken windows broken and tagged. He says his vacuum shop has been hit by vandals three times in a decade.

"This is going to cost me over 500 bucks, last time is cost over 1,000," said Cortez.

Just next door, the BBQ House owners surveyed the damage to their restaurant, including the desecration of this American flag.

"It was kind of a surprise, two of us got hit side-by-side," said Rick Fields, The Barbecue House manager.

Cortez says he wasn't surprised at all by the vandalism, in fact, he expects it in his neighborhood. He says he just wants to know why police did not try to stop whoever did this.

"Why is it that they don't give a damn and put this kind of problem in such a low priority?"

Sergeant Dave Macaulay of Reno PD was on patrol when Cortez called in. He says he understands the frustration people feel when they're vandalized, but if an officer responded every time someone spray painted a wall, there'd be no officers left.

"If someone was at his shop with a gun in his face, would he want the police available to intervene right away, or would he rather they be stuck on a paper call when there is no suspect at all?" said Macaulay

The BBQ House owners aren't as convinced the police could have stopped a vandal...since it only takes a few minutes to do this kind of damage. They say Reno police have been helpful in the past, when they've dealt with more serious crimes, like burglaries and break-ins.

"You know, occasionally, we've been hit. And those guys are a minute away, always," said Fields.

Police say they know that even though Wells Avenue residents have been trying to spruce up the street, it continues to be a problem area for some crimes and gang activity.

They say patrol cars drive up and down it day and night, but sometimes, it's the smaller crimes that can slip through the cracks.


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