NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Residents of the Monticello Station Apartments told 10 On Your Side they are afraid for their safety.
That’s because vandals damaged multiple vehicles in the Bank Street parking garage over the New Year’s holiday weekend. It’s still unclear what the total number of vehicles damaged is, but as of Sunday, Norfolk police said 20 vehicles were hit over the Christmas holiday weekend in the same garage.
“We saw that one broken, another one broken and we figured out that somebody just hit all the cars in the garage,” resident Breonna Bridges said.
It was not the New Year’s Day excitement Bridges was expecting. This was the second time thieves broke into one of her vehicles parked in the Bank Street garage.
“We live here and now I know it’s a public garage, but we don’t feel safe in our own home, because this is our home,” Bridges said.
Her neighbor Maria, who doesn’t want to be identified out of fear, is also a victim: “I looked at my car and that’s when I noticed that my window was broken and so was the car that was parked next to me,” she said.
While inside the Bank Street garage, 10 On Your Side saw six vehicles with shattered windows, some that had been covered with cardboard and tape.
“I’ve never seen this much damage ever done, so it was really scary,” Maria said.
Maria said this week Monticello Station Apartment residents were given notices about vehicle vandalism in the garage. She said the apartment manager told her there have been more than 40 vehicles vandalized since November. That was shocking news she wished she had know before she became a victim.
“I’m terrified because if they have the capacity to do this type of vandalism in this amount and if we let them get away with it, then what else are they going to think they can come up with?” Maria said.
Residents said they have to pay to park in the garage, so they want to see more security cameras and more police patrols.
Betsy Webster, manager for Monticello Place Apartments, released the following statement:
With any situation that involves our residents, our main focus is on keeping them and their property safe. We are working diligently with the owner/manager of the parking garage, The City of Norfolk, as well as local law enforcement to help apprehend the suspects. The past several nights have been incident free as the City has posted two police officers on each floor of the garage. We will continue to assist the City in any way until the suspects are apprehended.
WAVY.com sent a crew to the parking garage and did see an officer on patrol. There is also a police precinct a block away from the garage.
Norfolk City spokeswoman Lori Crouch said police are investigating the vandalism cases and that there are surveillance cameras in the city-owned garage.
Management for the apartment complex plans to meet with city officials Monday to discuss the incident.