Two arrests made in Gainesville vandalism spree

GAINESVILLE, TX — A second arrest was made on Friday, in a rash of vandalism involving dozens of Gainesville cars and businesses. Police now have to two teens in custody, but the case far from closed.

Driving on Grand Ave you can see several businesses with new bullet holes in their front windows.

“It’s really scary to come in and see windows shot out,” Dr. Kevin Stewart with Gage Dental said.

Dr. Stewart came into work Saturday morning to find the front window shot out again. This is the second time in about two weeks the office has been the target of random vandalism.

“It’s really sad that people just have no respect for personal property and no regard for public safety,” Dr. Stewart said.

Gainesville Police say nine other businesses or vehicles were hit overnight – from KFC on Highway 82, to a medical office on California Street.

Gainesville Police arrested 18-year-old Jose Ortiz about 11:30 Friday morning. On Thursday afternoon, police arrested a 15 year old – but his name is not being released because of his age.

Police say they suspect more people are involved with this vandalism spree and say all will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“The investigation is ongoing. We are still looking at some other potential suspects and trying to identify other suspects,” Sgt. Bobby Balthrop of the Gainesville Police Dept. said.

Sgt. Balthrop says the vandalism started around the 10th of June, hitting private businesses, public offices and vehicles for more than a month.

The vandals have caused about $50,000 worth of damage across the city.

“It’s costing the people, the business owners and the tax payers a lot of money and it’s costing the citizens a lot of uneasiness,” Sgt. Balthrop said.

Dr. Stewart says it will cost about $1,000 to just replace the front window, but it’s more than just a monetary issue.

“You have to add in to that the labor and the time and obviously the affect it has on the outside of the dental office – the fears of the patients as well. You have to deal with all that. I don’t know if you can really put a price on that,” Dr. Stewart said.

Gainesville police say they have investigators working full time on this case and have additional officers on patrol hoping to bring this rash of vandalism to an end.

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