Authorities comb through video footage to get leads on weekend vandals
SEBRING - The vandalism count from a weekend shooting spree that damaged storefronts countywide continues to climb, as authorities from three jurisdictions comb through security footage to get leads and then plan to gather to compare notes. Lake Placid Chief of Police James Fansler said three more Lake Placid merchants reported damaged windows Tuesday, taking the count to 25. The Sebring Police Department’s latest count was 28, said Cmdr. Steve Carr while the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office is handling 21 reports as of Tuesday afternoon, said spokeswoman Nell Hays. Eight of them have Avon Park addresses, Hays said, of which seven are within city limits. Complaints from the unincorporated areas have come from storefronts along Memorial Drive, State Road 17, DeSoto Road and U.S. 27, which includes two stores at Lakeshore Mall – Belk and J.C. Penney’s, Hays added. The sheriff’s office and the police departments of Sebring and Lake Placid are working together.Fansler said there is a “little bit” of surveillance footage in connection with the Lake Placid vandalism, but “there are a lot of hours to go through.” Carr also said there is “some” surveillance video available, but added it is a “time-consuming” process where detectives have to go through time stamps. The community from Lake Placid to Avon Park got a rude shock early Sunday morning when reports of the vandalism filtered in. Several merchants spent Sunday and Monday boarding up their damaged windows that got hit by BB-type pellets, which in some cases shattered the glass, and in other cases only left a slight dent. The apparently random shooting spared homes.