Police Seek Help on Hateful Vandalism

Residents said they feel safe where they live

By Ken Kalthoff
|  Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012  |  Updated 10:24 AM CDT
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More than half a dozen tenants of a Northeast Dallas apartment complex got up this morning to find their cars vandalized overnight.

Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News

More than half a dozen tenants of a Northeast Dallas apartment complex got up this morning to find their cars vandalized overnight.

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Dallas Police investigators hope someone saw the vandals who broke windows and left hateful messages scratched into the paint of cars owned by black tenants at a Lake Highlands apartment complex.

The vandalism happened at the SoHo Apartments in the 7500 Block of Skillman sometime between 10 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. Monday, according to residents.

Dexter Rainer found the damage and writing on his car as he was leaving for work.

"It said the ‘N’ word. It said 'N,' go back to Africa,"said Rainer.

Rainer said he’s felt welcome and safe for years at the complex, but that security gates were not working properly over the weekend.

"So we don’t know if somebody came here doing this, or somebody living in the apartments is doing this here," Rainer said.

On Monday police posted vandalism reports from six tenants. Residents said more than six cars were targeted and that black residents owned them all.

Resident Janelle Myrick said her children discovered the vandalism.

"For my kids to say, ‘Mom, look what they wrote on your car,’  That’s horrible. That’s hurtful.  Insurance will pay for it, the apartments will pay for it, but that’s stuff that just can’t be erased," Myrick said.

An employee in the complex manager’s office declined to discuss the issue except to say the gates have been repaired.

"It still takes away a sense of safety because you don’t know if people are going to want to watch you, if they’re going to progress with the crime," Myrick said.

The owners found nothing missing inside their cars, despite the broken windows.

"They didn’t steal anything so I don’t know how to read that," tenant Alvin Bush said. "I don’t know if it’s a child or whatever. I just thought I was being punked."

A police press release Monday said no witnesses to the crimes have stepped forward so there is no information about possible suspects.

Police ask anyone with information to call the Northeast Investigative Unit at 214-670-4416. 

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