Vancouver police believe a lone vandal is behind more than 80 keying incidents on vehicles throughout the city’s west side.
Five separate sprees have occurred since March in Kitsilano, Dunbar and Kerrisdale. The sprees are spread out randomly and in some instances happen days and weeks apart from one another.
All of them have happened in the early morning hours between 1 and 3 a.m., and damage estimates could exceed at least $200,000.
There is no suspect description and no motive.
“I can’t imagine the frustration these owners are going through,” VPD Const. Jason Doucette told reporters Thursday. “They’re parking at their houses, they’re parking on the streets, they’re not doing anything wrong. What’s wrong here is the person victimizing these vehicles for no apparent reason.”
A video shown at Thursday’s press conference shows the alleged suspect target a Porsche on West 12th Avenue and Macdonald Street in the early morning of July 2.
The suspect’s face is obscured by what appears to be a mask. It’s believed the suspect is male, but Doucette couldn’t confirm that point. He calmly walks up to the Porsche, keys it twice and slashes the soft-top roof. Though not shown in the video, the suspect targets another vehicle in the same block.
The vandal is etching the letter M or Z, and sometimes a smiley face. Soft-top roofs have been slashed and several have had their car emblems stolen. Some vehicles have been targeted more than once.
“Someone will recognize this person. We’re confident,” Doucette said. “In addition, we’re also asking people if you have a friend, a family member who all of a sudden has a collection of emblems from vehicles, give us a call. That’s a tip, that’s an investigative lead for us.”
Doucette is particularly puzzled over the apparent lack of motive in each case. Nothing is stolen, and the suspect isn’t trying to gain access to the interiors of the vehicles.
“Depending on the motive and the information that’s available, at the very least there would mischief, damage to property [charges],” he said. “I suspect there would be possibility for civil repercussions as well.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the VPD’s property crime unit at 604-717-0613 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.