By Jeff Todd
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– A Westminster neighborhood is sleeping easier now that a man has been arrested and linked to multiple cases of vandalism.
“The worst part is waking up every morning with a knot in your stomach not knowing what you’re going to find. Has he got my car, has he got another car has he got my neighbors car,” said Amy, a resident who had both of her cars damaged.
Dozens of cars have been scratched with a key or knife in the Cobblestone Village near 80th and Federal. Most have the driver side door scratched the length of the door but a few cars have been damaged on both sides of the car.
“I’m also upset because it’s costing me money, I have to pay my deductible to get the door fixed and it’s over $1,000. It’s a huge scratch it went down to the metal,” said Roxann.
“I knew it was going to happen eventually because it was just day in day out but it is a harsh feeling when it’s your car,” said Lauren.
Neighbors began talking on Nextdoor.com and sharing stories finding that the vandal had been attacking cars since January. Finally one resident with security cameras caught the suspect in the act last week.
“It let the people in the neighborhood know what he looked like, we had no idea before,” said Amy. “It was an outlet to put pictures of this gentleman shall we say and it put everybody on alert in the neighborhood. Within 24 hours of actually posting, the pictures on that particular site people were out watching for him and that’s how he got caught. It takes a village to catch somebody like that.”
James Petera is facing a charge of Criminal Mischief. Online records say Petera, 45, has at least three other counts of criminal mischief on his record including one with lengthy prison time.
“It’s intentional and it’s on purpose,” said Roxann.
Amy told CBS4 one car had a quote for $1,500 to fix a driver side door.
“I’ve been walking around more and there are several cars where it’s both doors,” said Lauren. “He’s caused I don’t know how many thousands of dollars of damages in this neighborhood.”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.