The department has received multiple reports of young adults and juveniles “using their bodies to slam into garage doors,” according to a news release. Police believe it to be part of a social media trend.
“16 since May 30th, but we have had 11 since August 10th so its picked up here in the last few days, this past weekend especially,” said Broadview Heights Police Chief Steven Raiff.
Security camera video shows a figure launching running then launching himself into a garage door.
Several residents of the McIntosh Farms community say they have had their homes targeted more than once.
They include Tony Petrilla’s mother who was awakened in the dead of night when someone threw rocks at her garage door, and then again over this past weekend when, in a separate incident, her garage door was more severely damaged.
“It freaked out my mom I mean she’s been all upset for days now,” said Petrilla.
Nearby Bonnie Bock was examining the damage to her door.
“I was told that the neighbor’s door was damaged and Iooked at mine. Those are footprints! said Bock.
Police cannot be sure of the motivation, but it is possible it could be related to an online challenge that started late last year.
The challenge, which has been reported nationwide, involves kids going up to doors then kicking or pounding on them loudly to startle homeowners, then running away.
It is possible that it could have evolved into what homeowners locally are experiencing.
“They don’t realize the damage they are causing or the amount of money these people are going to have to pay to replace their doors,” said Raiff.
“Most of the time nine times out of ten they are going to have to be replaced and depending on the door itself you might have to replace the whole door which costs even more money than just having to replace a whole panel or two and it’s just hurting people’s pockets,” said Nick Flemming, who works installing garage doors for Precision Door.
The department is stepping up patrols and investigating each incident. Residents are being asked to report “any suspicious activity” and make sure their security cameras are on and working properly, according to the release.
Those who may know the identities of the alleged vandals are urged to call the dispatch center at 440-526-5400.
Broadview Heights has a curfew for minors, police noted:
- For age 12 and younger: From darkness to 6:30 a.m.;
- For age 13 to 15: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.;
- For age 16 to 17: 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday; midnight to 6 a.m. Friday and Saturday.