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48 Joplin Residents Report Vandalism; Police Say Connected Cases - KOAM TV 7

48 Joplin Residents Report Vandalism; Police Say Connected Cases May Increase

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Joplin, MO -

At least 48 Joplin residents have something in common.

"You look at time, location, and report structure," says Captain Rusty Rives with the Joplin Police Department.

Monday night and early Tuesday morning was the time these crimes happened.  A six square-mile area, centering around the Joplin High School, is the location where most of the 48 people live.  The report structure:  A lot of ticked-off property owners.

"Some being businesses, some being homeowners, and some being vehicle owners," says Rives.

The windows and sides of vehicles seem to have been pelted by something or some things.  Police are still trying to figure out if a vandal only used a BB gun during their crime spree.

"This is not the way that me, as a glass shop owner, wants to make money," says Dawn Anderson of Anderson Glass in Joplin.

About 15 victims of these crimes have come to Anderson's shop to have their windows fixed.

"I don't believe a BB being shot can put enough pressure to really damage the glass," says Anderson.  "I think it's those CO2 cartridges, the air pistols or whatever."

Anderson's workers have been doing what they can to help customers without comprehensive auto insurance.  She talks about one woman, in particular.

"She's on a cane and her neighbor told her that her glass had been broken out.  With her finances, if she couldn't afford our pricing, she could go to a salvage yard, get the glass there, maybe for $25, and we'd be glad to put it in for her for just a fixed labor fee," says Anderson.

Police say they have a few leads.  Eight damaged windows at Joplin's high school have also been connected to these crimes.

Investigators say the criminal may believe no one saw them do these crimes.  Think again.

"More and more, as technology grows, we're seeing more homeowners with cameras," says Rives.

Police are looking over footage from those outside cameras.

 Police are still trying to figure out of this case may involve a juvenile suspect.

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