Vandalized Tower District business owner fights back

FRESNO, Calif.

The vandals are using sharp materials, such as rocks, to etch names into the glass; and businesses owners say it's costing them thousands of dollars to repair or replace the damage.

"He kinda just scratches and scratches and scratches. So you have this kind of motion with some sort of rock or stone," said Chris Johnson, Johnson Architecture.

Johnson has had to replace the window of his storefront in the Tower District after vandals scratched their names into the glass. "Is that pretty costly to have to repair and replace? Oh yeah, these windows probably run $600-$800 dollars a pane just for the glass alone and then you have the installation cost as well so it can be thousands of dollars."

The expense is frustrating because he said it happens every few months, and as an owner of an architecture firm, he has a certain image he must uphold.

But this time he's fighting back. He captured images on surveillance video, and he's asking for help in identifying the suspect. "It's a little blurry in spots, but he's wearing an Atlanta Braves hat, he has a long ponytail, dark hair, looks like some facial hair."

Johnson believes the same person may be behind other etchings -- including the Good Company Players and Cuca's Authentic Mexican Food because the scratchers typically hit more than one business a night. "Because of the proximity to the street seems much easier for them to get to our glass and do the damage they want to do."

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer admits it's an ongoing problem. In an interview at a national night out event, he said the city has a plan to combat the problem. "We're in the process of placing two video policing cameras in the Tower District so we can monitor those. And secondly we're going to be opening a satellite office in the not so distant future so our police officers can actually work out of there and do some foot patrols, bicycle patrols and just have a high police presence in the Tower District."

Chris Johnson said the move could go along way in curbing this type of crime in the tower. "I think that will help a lot. The police are always helpful."

Johnson said he plans to turn the video over to police, so if you recognize the man in the pictures, you are asked to contact the Fresno Police Department.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.