SCARBOROUGH – A weeks-long streak that saw windows shot out of vehicles and homes intensified last week as the first businesses were reportedly hit.

According to Detective Sgt. Rick Rouse, customers were in the Happy Garden Restaurant on Route 1 when a window was smashed there at about 8:30 p.m. on June 23. A window also was shot out of the Johnson O’Hare Company, also on Route 1, sometime over the weekend of June 18-19. For a complete list of the incidents, click here.

Rouse said when the vandalism streak began in late May, small arms fire was involved. On May 28, for example, police found a .22-caliber bullet lodged inside the door of a Ford Explorer on Beech Ridge Road. More recently, the firearm of choice appears to be a pellet, or BB, gun. In many cases, as at the O’Hare Company, the projectile did not have enough oomph to actually break the window, and was found lodged between panes.

“Actual bullets were used on Sawyer Street and Spurwink,” Rouse said on Monday. “The more recent issues are the same sort of behavior, but we don’t know whether they’re related. Maybe those [latter] ones are monkey-see, monkey-do. Or, maybe someone decided, ‘It’s not a good idea to use a firearm, let’s use a pellet.'”

Most of the recent cases have occurred on Holmes Road, although recent instances have been reported on Payne Road, Jameco Mill Road, Gorham Road and on Route 1, as well as in the parking lot of Wentworth Intermediate School.

Leading to the supposition that juveniles may be involved, the shooting spree has, within the last week, following the end of the school year, transitioned to what was primarily a weekend phenomena to an any-day occurrence.

Thursday evening was the target last week. In addition to Wentworth and Happy Garden, a home on Holmes Road was hit. All three shootings occurred between 8 and 9 p.m. On Friday morning, two more homeowners on Holmes Road and one on Gorham Road reported taking on pellet-gun damage, all presumably inflicted the previous evening.

In almost every instance, said Rouse, shots were fired at homes, automobiles, mailboxes and businesses from a passing vehicle. Police are working leads, he said, but have so far been stymied by the lack of a positive ID on the get-away car used.

“There’s not a whole lot to investigate,” said Rouse. “The problem is everybody sees a car driving away, but all they can describe is tail lights. We have some ideas, but it’s hard to confirm anything without more to go on.”

Rouse said that although several pellets have been recovered, this has done little to advance the investigation. Because there is no rifling action on pellet and BB gun barrels, ballistics tests are useless. Police have been unable to link the found pellets to a particular make or model of firearm, said Rouse.

For the most part, Rouse said, police are hoping someone will come forward with more information, preferably someone who knows the perpetrators involved.

“I would think that somebody more than whose actually doing it knows what’s going on,” he said. “I have not heard anything from any area departments having a similar problem. Holmes Road appears to be the only common denominator.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Scarborough Police Department at 883-6361, or the anonymous, crime-tip hotline at 730-4200, ext. 3093.


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