Vandals smash Montavilla store’s windows – again and again…

Take note, and see if you can help this shopkeeper stem the tide of senseless vandalism that’s shattering her nerves and her windows – but not her resolve …

Window after window, the Monticello Antique Market is still being plagued by vandals who shoot out the windows.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
With the economy as it is, keeping a retail store operating takes skill and finesse – both qualities found in Kelli Riedman, owner of Monticello Antique Market on SE Stark Street in Montavilla.

Riedman told East Portland News that weathering the economic storms since she opened the store in 2000 has been nothing like dealing with the vandals who have been repeatedly breaking her store’s windows – apparently just for “fun”.

Monticello Antique Market owner Kelli Riedman says the repeated vandalism is discouraging, and is continuing to hurt her business.

“Four years ago we had four windows shot out at one time,” Riedman said. “Finally, I put out a reward, and that stopped it.”

But, just in time for the Holiday season, Riedman came in to find three windows “shot out” on December 10.

It’s more than a prank – it’s clearly malicious vandalism.

“Then I came back to work a couple of days later to see two more shot out – and then, yesterday (January 4), to find two more windows – a total of nine – destroyed.”

It’s disheartening, Riedman said. “We had a good December, and then all of a sudden I’ve got to buy nine new windows.  There goes the profit.  It affects the business, employee bonuses, and, in a small way, our local economy as well.”

This antique store offers delightful finds for collectors, and has never been the source of controversy in the neighborhood.

It’s puzzling, she went on. “We’re selling wonderful antiques, there’s nothing controversial. We haven’t had any disgruntled customers or workers. It’s like target practice for them; maybe they just like to watch my windows shatter. I think it’s kids with a pellet gun or a slingshot.”

With the damage continuing, Riedman wondered aloud when she should file the insurance claim. “When does it stop? I will be filing this week, and the glass company is waiting, before we replace the glass.”

Perhaps a reward will goad someone into fingering the person responsible for thousands of dollars of damage to this one store.

Going back to her proven strategy of four years ago, Riedman said she’s putting up a reward. “This has got to stop. Maybe one of their friends will turn them in to get the money – or maybe it will encourage a neighbor to keep an extra look out.”

If you can help – call Riedman, and supply her with any information to help stop this senseless vandalism.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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