Some students living in the Ithaca College Circle Apartments woke up Monday to find unexpected damages to their cars. About 10 cars parked in front of the apartments had damage to the rear windshield wipers.
Tom Dunn, investigator for the Office of Public Safety, said the damage could have occurred anytime between 10 p.m. Sunday night and early Monday morning. Dunn said the first student called just after 10:30 a.m. Monday.
Public Safety telephoned students to alert them, and an officer was dispatched to photograph and make note of the damage.
The officer examined vehicles with damage ranging from minor tampering to more severe incidents where the windshield wiper had been snapped off at the base.
Senior Elisha Male, a student living in the Circle Apartments, said the damage to some vehicles wasn’t too bad, but her own windshield wiper was completely broken off.
“I was talking to the [officer], and what he said happened was there was a whole bunch of drunk kids hanging around the apartments, 130s or 140s, and they just went down the backs of the cars that were parked there and just knocked off anything they could find,” Male said.
Male said the tampering is a nuisance because she will have to file an insurance claim.
“My insurance is going to go up, and it’s already expensive. And because no one came out and said he did it I have to pay extra,” Male said.
Senior Will Rocheleau, a student living in a nearby apartment, was in North Carolina when he received a call concerning his vehicle, which he had left on campus.
“I said that I wasn’t in Ithaca right now, and I asked if it were possible to talk to one of the officers. They said, ‘No, sorry, we’re just calling from the office,’ and I said, ‘Do you know what happened to my car?’ And I wasn’t able to get a response,” Rocheleau said.
The damage to Rocheleau’s car was not as extensive as the damage done to Male’s car — his windshield wiper was bent but not broken, and he said it would be possible to purchase a new wiper blade, solving the problem.
“I do have insurance to deal with this, but I don’t think this particular situation will need it because the damage compared to other cars is little,” Rocheleau said.
While the person or persons responsible for these acts is unknown at this time, Dunn said the investigation is ongoing and there is a concentrated effort to patrol the Circle Apartments.
“We’re looking for any assistance the public would give to identify the person or persons responsible,” Dunn said. “We always want people to secure their vehicles whenever possible and report suspicious or unusual activities in or around the parking lots.”
Anyone with information should contact the Office of Public Safety at (607) 274-3333.