Women’s Center has bone to pick with costumed criminal

Police are still searching for the young man who vandalized six air conditioning units in a skeleton costume at 1 a.m. Oct. 20 in front of the Women’s Center.

The vandal caused damages estimated to cost around $6,000 in repairs, according to the police report.

Cathy McClanahan, Women’s Center executive director, said this was the second incident in two months that involved the air conditioning units, but the first one was less expensive to fix.

Carbondale police hope to identify the young man who vandalized six air conditioning units at the women’s center on Oct. 20.
photo provided by the Carbondale police website

“Not much damage was done, but people had pulled on them and moved them off of their concrete foundation and moved on.” McClanahan said. “We had our repair company bolt those to the walls and we considered doing that with others, and before we made that decision we were vandalized a second time.”

As a not-for-profit organization, the Women’s Center will have a hard time fixing the broken units because the yearly budget didn’t account for unforeseeable vandalism, she said, and even the repair budget may not be able to cover the expenses.

“We do have some maintenance and  repair money, but that’s stuff we anticipate throughout the year, so this is just something that is unplanned and unbudgeted,” she said. “We’re still going to try and figure out how we’re going to pay for the damage.”

McClanahan said the organization plans to prevent any future property damage. She said four of the eight vandalized units were repaired and bolted to the wall, but it will cost more than $200 to bolt each unit.

McClanahan said she can’t believe how somebody could treat an organization such as the center so poorly.

“This whole thing has really been an eye opener and concern because we provide services to vulnerable citizens in Carbondale and the surrounding area,” she said. “On the video, there were so many people that had seen this occurring and not said anything or did anything. It’s just really disheartening.”

Pictures of the perpetrator are displayed on the Carbondale Police Department’s website, and anybody who can identify the individual is asked to contact them at 457-3200.

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About Austin Flynn

Austin Flynn can be reached at aflynn@dailyegyptian.com or 536-3311 ext.252.

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