BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)–When it comes to damaging cars, there is no such thing as a “harmless prank.” Scratching the car’s finish.. etching it with a key.. or in this case, spray painting the outside can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Several cars were vandalized by a tagger at C-and-K Auto Sales on Elmwood Avenue near Amherst Street over the weekend.
Surveillance video caught the spray paint suspect making his getaway.
“And I saw a man in the parking lot, here. I hollered out to him and he took off running,” said C&K Auto Employee Jesse Korhummel.
Korhummel was coming into work when he saw the suspected tagger who has left Jesse and his co-workers with a lot of stressful, time-work. He said the vandal came twice, tagging the cars with gray paint, then white.
“Because it is a lot of spray paint to clean off a car. You’ve got to be careful not to strip the paint off of them.”
“He was in the lot for 16 minutes. He tagged 27 cars in 16 minutes,” said owner Lionell Jones.
Of those 27 cars that were sprayed, Jonessays the damage to five of the cars was so extensive, his insurance carrier wrote them off as total losses.
“It is hard to come off. We had to use a lot of different chemicals to get it off. The majority of the vehicles are a total loss, salvage.”
While Jones can take the insurance proceeds for the vehicles that are totaled and have them re-painted, the title is branded as “salvage” which can diminish the resale value significantly.
Jones has no idea who the vandal might be and does not believe it was a customer.
“I stand by all my cars. I get all my cars fixed, I never leave nobody hanging. Maybe it was another car lot or something.”
While the suspected tagger was average weight and height, and wore a mask.. he might be identified by white and gray paint on his hands. If you have information that can help solve this case, you can call Buffalo’s Confidential Tipline at 847-2255.
Al Vaughters is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 1994. See more of his work here.