Retail stores, windows, and at least one vehicle struck by BB pellets in Gillette
Gillette Police Department (GPD) investigators are looking into a string of destruction of property cases involving broken windows which occurred yesterday, GPD Support Services Lieutenant Brent Wasson told County 17. The incidents could be linked to several similar reports that occurred between the dates of Feb. 18 and Feb. 25, according to Wasson. In each case, he said, it appears that an air-powered weapon was used to shoot out several storefront and vehicle windows across town, resulting in thousands of dollars in damages.
Yesterday, GPD was contacted by an employee of Big O Tires around noon. The employee had called to report that they had found a BB-size hole in a storefront window earlier that morning. Although the hole was small in size, the entire window needed to be replaced, the employee told police. According to the employee, the new window cost exactly $606, Wasson said.
Security State Bank also reported a similar incident yesterday in which a small shot was fired through a storefront window at their Gillette branch location. A bank employee told County 17 that the exact cost of the damage had yet to be determined.
A resident of Mountain View Apartments also reported that the back window of his 2007 Chevy pickup had been shot out yesterday by what he said appeared to be a BB gun pellet. The vehicle had been parked outside of the apartment complex at the time the incident occurred, Wasson said, and damages are estimated at around $300.
As County 17 previously reported, video surveillance cameras at Pain For Sale captured a silver or light-colored sedan slowly passing the store at approximately 11 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17, around the time the shot that damaged the tattoo shop’s window was believed to have been fired.
“We do believe these incidents are related,” Wasson told County 17 in an email Wednesday, Feb. 26, and investigations remain ongoing.
So far, combined damages total more than $7,000.
A single misdemeanor destruction of property offense is punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine of up to $750, or both, if the cost of restoring injured property or the value the property destroyed totals $1,000 or more.
A felony destruction of property charge is punishable by up to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.