Smashed windows, slashed tires, broken cameras reported in Riverview vandalism spree

- A rash of vandalism to cars and homes in Hillsborough County has neighbors nervous. Investigators think two suspects may be responsible for at least a dozen cases of criminal mischief over the last week.

“In two particular cases they broke into the cars and put a garden hose in and filled the car full of water,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Corporal Larry McKinnon. “One of the cars they had dumped some fertilizer in it, so really a lot of damage.”

It's put people who live along the Balm Riverview Corridor between Boyette Road and Panther Trace Boulevard on high alert.

At least a dozen vehicles have been hit, causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damages. Tires have been slashed, windows smashed, the criminals are even targeting security systems.

“They’ve damaged probably four or five different home surveillance cameras,” McKinnon said. “But fortunately in this last incident, we were able to capture one of their faces.”

That incident happened early Monday morning at Ivan Mesa’s house.

“A couple people were walking in front of our house, and then one of them turn around and tried to break the cameras,” he said.

However, while one of them is taking swipes at the camera, it points directly at his face. And when his buddy comes back to give the device one last whack, we get a quick glimpse of him.

The sheriff’s office thinks the pair could be responsible for the rash of criminal mischief in the area.

“At the end of the day, they’re creating a lot of damage and a lot of problems for people that are hardworking people in that neighborhood. So we’re hoping to catch them very quickly,” said McKinnon.

Which is something homeowners would also like to see before the vandals can cause any more damage or do something worse.

“We’re worried about our health and our safety, we have kids and we have families and it looks like it is escalating,” Mesa said.

Investigators think the suspects likely live in the Riverview area.

If you know anything about these crimes, or who could be responsible, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS.

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