Local businesses suffering financially due to COVID-19 hit by vandalism

Local News

CHARLESTON, W.V. (WOWK) – Plywood now sits where the glass used to be in at least six different Elk City businesses.

Danny Jones, owner of Danny’s BBQ Stand, is one of the businesses vandalized.

“The police know who it is. I have a picture of the guy. But you do what you can do,” Jones said.

“Sometimes they steal, sometimes they’re just throwing stuff and want to break a window,” said Andrea Bledsoe, an employee at Green Infusion. “So, its anything.”

Green Infusion is another one of the vandalism victims.

“You can see over there across the street. That window too. That’s probably the fourth time that window has been broken into,” Bledsoe said.

Little General, where the Mobil gas station is located, was also vandalized.

“You wanna fix it,” Bledsoe said. “But then you think should I fix it now or wait until this is all over?”

COVID-19 is already negatively impacting small businesses in our area. This feels like another blow for many small business owners.

“It’s very disheartening,” Bledsoe said. “And it’s not the most settling feeling to have right now. We are here with not a lot of people around. Things are closed. So it is an uneasy feeling.”

“We don’t have an official number yet, our detectives are looking into exact numbers,” said, Scott Dempsey, Charleston Deputy Police Chief. “We can understand their frustrations and we’re definitely aware of the increase in vandalism and destruction of properties. We are increasing our patrols as we speak in those certain affected areas.”

CPD asks that if anyone – small business owners, employees, residents living in the area – notices anything suspicious, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

“Neighborhood eyes are just as good as police patrolling,” Dempsey said. “Sometimes we can’t be in a certain area at all times and we really need the neighbors and neighborhoods to cooperate with us. It would definitely help us do our job better.”

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