Hooksett businesses offer reward in vandalism attacks
HOOKSETT — About two dozen Hooksett business and vehicles, including a car with a child riding in the backseat, have been hit by pellets from a gun over the last two-plus months, and now police are teaming with area business owners to end the vandalism.
The vandalism, which began in late December, has shattered windows and caused headaches for local entrepreneurs, who are offering a $1,500 reward for information that leads to an arrest and successful prosecution of the perpetrator(s).
Although no injuries have been reported, Hooksett police have indicated the shootings have been occurring during all hours of the day and night and have become more brazen.
"It's so random that it's putting police at a huge disadvantage, especially because it's likely happening from a moving vehicle," said Allan Bald, owner of Tire Warehouse, which was hit by two pellets on Feb. 22. "Whoever did this not only has to worry about police, but now they have to worry about us business owners, and we're going to use the oldest tool in the books — a good old-fashioned cash reward.
"Right now, it's really no skin off our teeth unless they catch whoever is doing this and convict them," he added. "I mean, I could spend the $700 to fix the door that was shattered and an hour later it could get shot out again, so I'm more than happy to pay my share."
Other businesses that have been targeted, several of which have contributed to the award, include Oompa-Loompa Candies, Hooksett Road Auto Repair, Green's Marine, Under the Hood Auto Services, State of the Art Storage, American Fence and Auto Wholesalers.
Hooksett Road victims
Bald said he hopes to have other local business owners join the effort as well.
"They need to know that we're going to work together and use all of our resources," he said. "Anyone who has glass facing Hooksett Road is a potential victim, and people should be helping out and contributing regardless if they've been a victim yet or not."
Hooksett police have been following up on several leads, including suspicious vehicle reports, but the potential tips have yet to lead to a break in the case, said Detective Brian Williams, who noted similar crimes have been reported in Allenstown and other nearby communities.
"What we really need right now is for people to be as vigilant and observant as possible," said Williams. "If they see any vehicles that don't belong, or if they see a gun, BB or otherwise, or if they see anything that doesn't seem right when they're out driving, we want them to report it to us immediately."
Those with information are encouraged to call Hooksett Police at 624-1560.