Vandals damage dozens of vehicles on city’s southwest side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The manager of a southwest side auto parts shop is hoping some muddy shoes or pants will help stop a rash of vandalism that has cost her tens of thousands of dollars.

Jamie White of Indy Westside Auto Parts said someone has been breaking into her lot for the last week, damaging between 40 and 50 vehicles.

“I’m sure they’re having a lot of fun,” White said.  “But at who’s expense?”

The vandals have made several return trips to the lot, located near Washington Street and South Tibbs Avenue.  They’ve broken dozens of windshields and even went on joyrides in several of the cars on the lot.

White said many of the used cars on their lot have keys left in them or can start without keys.  The joyriding has left several vehicles beaten up and covered in mud.  Some of the cars have blown engines from when the vandals got stuck in mud and apparently couldn’t get out.

White pointed out several cars that were in great shape, before they were raced around the muddy lot.

“This is one they joyrided and wrecked,” White said, pointing to one of the cars.  “This was a car that we were going to be able to sell for probably about $1,500, but now it’s a ‘parts car’ for sure.”

White believes the damage is being done by a handful of teens, looking for a thrill.  A security camera captured four shadowy figures hopping over her fence on the night of April 20.  The nighttime footage makes is virtually impossible to identify the figures.

However, the suspects did leave a calling card.  Spray painted graffiti on several cars was signed by the group, identifying themselves as the “Nasty Crew.”

Additionally, several sets of footprints were left, leading back to an adjacent property, across a small creek and up to a set of nearby railroad tracks. White thinks the teens probably live in the area, and she’s hoping parents will keep an eye out for muddy shoes or pants with no good explanation.