Vandals shoot out dozens of windows, cause thousands in damage

Investigators are searching for clues after someone drove through two small towns in southern Illinois and shot out the windows of more than 30 cars, homes, businesses, and a church.

The damage is estimated to be tens of thousands of dollars.

After 36 years in business in downtown Ava, Illinois, William Ripley says nothing like this has ever happened in his community.

When Ripley opened for business Monday morning, he noticed there was something different about his storefront window, so he decided to ask around. He quickly realized he wasn’t the only one in town whose windows had been shot out..

"Looks like a pellet or BB shot in the window," said Ripley.

"It’s just something that you never think will happen," said Doris Gerler.  "If they do that, what’s next?"

Like many people around town, Gerler believes it was teens who shot out her car window.

"They just do things at the spur of the moment and don’t think of the consequences, but I don’t think they think they’ll ever get caught," said Gerler.

"If it’s kids doing it, something needs to be done," said Ripley. "They can’t go on doing things like this. My window itself is $2,000."

As police work to establish a timeline of the vandalism, they hope surveillance video from a nearby bank will lead to an arrest on felony charges.

One person in town is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

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