Vandals hit downtown Franklin

Published 6:57 pm Monday, September 29, 2008

Franklin police are looking for the person or persons responsible for a wave of vandalism in the city over the weekend.

Police spokesman Lt. T.W. Whitt said that numerous businesses in downtown Franklin, and a handful of city residences, were hit by vandals between 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday.

The vandals used black, white, red and green spray paint to put up various symbols, numbers and letters, Whitt said. The more common numbers and letters included “ICP,” “NRD,” “juggalos,” “420” and “666.”

Businesses that were targeted included the Rolling Hills Bicycle Shop at 101-B E. Jackson St., American Tire & Rim at 101 E. Jackson, Olde Virginia Moulding & Millwork at 100 W. Jackson, Franklin Moving & Storage at 600 N. Franklin St. and S.W. Rawls Inc. at 100 Bowers Road. A car parked behind American Tire & Rim was heavily vandalized.

All of the businesses hit are within a short walk of each other.

Elsewhere in the city, Whitt said, a driveway and a vehicle in the 1000 block of North High Street were vandalized. The car was spray painted on its doors and trunk. Another driveway in the 100 block of Homestead was also hit.

Police noticed additional vandalism in the 100 block of Forest Pine and in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of Homestead, but they were not able to locate victims.

Franklin police do not have any suspects at this time. The incident is under investigation.

“We haven’t had a spray-painting incident of this magnitude for some time,” said Whitt.

Vandals used red and black spray paint to put symbols and words on a sign in the parking lot at S.W. Rawls.

“Why they would do something like this, I don’t know,” said Bernard Rook, the company’s operations manager. “They have too much time on their hands, nothing else to do.”

A co-owner of Olde Virginia Moulding & Millwork, who asked that her name not be used, said she and her husband worked on cleaning up the graffiti on Sunday. White paint covered most of the symbols behind their business, and windows along the back of the building were also cleaned off.

The co-owner said that they were thinking about putting a light behind their building and asking the city to cut down some of the high grass at the end of the street.

When asked if she thought those measures would prevent future acts of vandalism, the co-owner shrugged.

“We’ve had a flood; we’ve had hurricanes,” she said. “It is what it is. I hope (the police) catch them.”

Whitt asked that anyone with information on the vandalism call Franklin Crime Stoppers at 562-8599.