Security cameras record 2 vandals trashing Mission Hills street

Posted at 5:25 PM, Aug 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 22:10:03-04

SAN DIEGO - Two people vandalized a Mission Hills street last week, and business owners are hoping security camera footage of the rampage leads to arrests.

"It was just general mayhem," Valerie Ferrari said of the mayhem caused on Aug. 19. "Knocking over plants, stealing American flags, breaking the poles, breaking the seating benches."

Ferrari owns the With Love shop along West Lewis Street with her husband Jimmy. They thought kids were behind the vandalism until they checked the surveillance video.

"We have cameras all over, actually," she said.

Surveillance footage appears to show a man with black hair and a beard rip down an American flag and its pole. Another angle shows a long-haired blond adult destroy a San Diego Reader stand. The person throws magazines all over the sidewalk, grabs the metal rack, and then walks out of the frame.

Ferrari said another angle shows the person using the metal stand to destroy a wooden bench bolted to the sidewalk.

"There were benches here. They broke the benches beyond recognition. They took bench parts away and then threw them in neighbors' yards," said Ferrari, who added parts of the wood and flagpole were found jammed in the door handles of several cars.

Oddly enough, the With Love owners are not seeking a massive punishment.

"I just want them to see themselves and say, 'Oops, we're being watched on camera,'" Jimmy Ferrari said about the public shaming.

"Somebody thought they were having some fun at the expense of a neighborhood," Valerie Ferrari added.

More damage caused

After the story aired, several viewers contacted 10News to report even more damage caused by the two people.

"Frustration and disgust," said Pam Amundson, who heads up the Mission Hills Neighborhood Watch.

Police said the vandalism spree started deeper in the neighborhood with some large pots smashed on the sidewalk. The vandals also threw rocks through an expensive custom window in front of a house and a Porsche parked outside.

Amundson said several other cars were damaged -- from broken windshields to side mirrors and windshield wipers being torn off. The glass door to a realty agency was also destroyed.

Amundson estimated the combined damage to be well over $10,000.

Another home surveillance camera captured footage of one of the adults getting out of a car and throwing a traffic cone at a house.

Amundson, who has lived in Mission Hills since 1977, said she has noticed an uptick of crime in the past five years, but especially in the last year.

"In the last year, it's escalated even more, I would say, since ... I hate to say it, since the passage of Prop. 47," she explained.

Proposition 47 put prisoners back on the street.

Amundson also cited a growing homeless population as one of the reasons for the increase in crime.