Clary Auto caught on camera what appears to be several pre-teens damaging automobiles on their property near Clary and Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard.
The latest incident happened Wednesday, July 21. However, business manager Christi Hutton says the property has been a punching bag for vandals for several years, costing them tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
"One time we caught somebody and his parents made restitution,” she said. “They made two payments and then said they can't do them anymore."
So now she wants a stronger push to hold the vandals accountable.
The June 21 vandalism included a torn-out exhaust pipe and several busted-out windows from semis in the salvage yard. The camera footage also caught the vandals throwing rocks and baseballs at a brand-new Cadillac in the front parking lot of the property. The video also showed them jumping on the hood repeatedly.
Hutton, who specializes in selling semi-trucks, said the vandalism has happened repeatedly for decades, peaks around the summer time, and she’s confident the vandals are usually kids from the neighborhood.
"Oh, I know they run back up the hill up in those trees,” Hutton said while pointing to the back of the property.
She even said the entire business burned down seven years ago. They lost everything – and vandalism couldn’t be ruled out as a possible cause.
Now, while their insurance rates continue to rise, Hutton and her boss haven’t built a back fence or added any extra security measures other than cameras. They have relied on police help, but they say the response from KCPD hasn’t led to any results.
"They can't get down here because they're too busy,” Hutton said.
A 41 Action News report from March discovered that KCPD currently has the lowest number of staffed officers in a decade.
41 Action News reached out to KCPD again on Friday regarding the vandalism at Clary Auto.
KCPD confirmed there’s been at least three incident reports at the property in the last year. They also sent the following statement:
“The investigators that work these cases are actually detectives in our property crimes units, not the officers in patrol. Every crime that occurs in our city is our priority, every person who is victimized is of our utmost concern.”
Hutton said she hopes her business will continue to be a priority. She wants the vandals, no matter the age, to be held responsible.
"I just want somebody caught and I want to see some justice," said Hutton.
There's a $1,000 reward up for anyone who contributes information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case, Hutton told 41 Action News.