VDT Vandalism

The businesses along this section of Budd Plaza were vandalized and burglarized early this week.

VALDOSTA — The investigation into a string of vandalism and burglaries to 13 commercial properties is continuing, but the Valdosta Police Department needs the public’s assistance finding those responsible, according to Lt. Bobbi McGraw.

VPD officers responded to a number of commercial alarms in the area of Northside Drive and Ashley Street early

Tuesday morning. Some time between late evening Monday and the early morning hours the following day, the front windows of 13 businesses in the area had been broken. A number of the businesses were also burglarized, according to McGraw.

“We believe it is probably the work of more than one person,” McGraw said. “We don’t know what was used to break the doors and windows, but in all of the businesses glass was broken.”

Emmanuel Illiomme, owner of Just Bar-B-Que, one of the businesses affected, awoke in the middle of the night to a phone call from his alarm company. He stated that he immediately drove to his business to see what the problem was and VPD officers were already on scene assessing his and six other businesses that were hit in the shopping plaza.

This incident was Illiomme’s second encounter with vandalism since he opened his business approximately one year ago. His building was also broken into and burglarized in December 2006 just before Christmas. In response to the break-ins, Illiomme stated that he is working quickly to install security cameras on his property.

Other businesses hit in the area the same evening include Caribbean Tan, First American Drug, Remix Clothing Boutique, The Spa by Southern Aesthetics, Tumble and Twirl, Bang’z Hair Salon, American General, Graylink Wireless, Exprez-it, Wing Zone, Southern Buffet and Weight Watchers, according to McGraw.

The investigation is ongoing, and the VPD is working a number of leads, according to McGraw.

Anyone with any information is urged to call the VPD crime tip line at 293-3091. All callers may remain anonymous.

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