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Vandalism persists and businesses pay regularly for damaged doors and windows

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Vandalism in the form of broken business windows have been a disturbing trend in recent months.   In some cases, there's no evidence of a burglary, just damage.

Santa Barbara Police were called to  the Riviera Towel company at 17 W. Gutierrez Street in Santa Barbara this morning when a passerby called 911 about a shattered window.

The owners were there within minutes as well, to see if a suspect was inside.

Police hollered out several messages and then said, "this is the final warning. If you are inside  make yourself  known or I can not guarantee your safety ."

Shannon DiPadova owns the Rivera Towel company with her husband.  She said, "they made sure that no one was in the store.   They made sure everything was safe before they entered.  They came in and took fingerprints from the bottle that was thrown through the window."

   What makes this vandalism incident even more important is it's one of several the city has seen in recent months.
   It's disturbing to small business owners, the kind the community says it wants to thrive here.
DiPadova said, "this whole  area, the entire window was completely shattered.  A bottle of beer with beer in it had been thrown through the window so it  went back to the store ."

After police left,  the staff vacuumed up the glass pieces and spruced up the displays. The business was able to open for the day.   

They also learned a business down the street on the corner of State and Gutierrez also had damage.    The front door there was either kicked or hit with something.  Again more damage,  more costs.   

   A business owner nearby said, other businesses have also had to deal with the same vandalism in recent weeks in this area, and one address was hit several times.

For small business owners especially during a slower economy this kind of vandalism is costly and will affect their bottom line.

DiPadova said,  "it was sad. I mean we have been here since 2018,  the window is obviously a huge part of our store and we had a custom sign. So we have to replace that."

   In the last few months, there's been  evidence of other business window vandalism, most without a clue about a motive. 

      It has included large windows or doors at coffee shops, a cellular phone store, the State employment development department, and a vinyl record store, which, also had window items taken including a guitar.

"Obviously  it has been a  trend.  I have heard about other businesses being affected. Luckily nothing was stolen from our store," said DiPadova.

     The owners of the Riviera Towel company say they hope to have a new window back in with their signage within a week, and are optimistic about going forward.

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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