The Crime: Criminal Mischief
The Victim: James and Cathy Strange
Date: Monday, Dec. 24
Time: 8:30 p.m.
Place: 1300 block of San Patricio

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There are times when you consider your enemies.

When a random act of destruction is perpetrated against your property by parties unknown, you must wonder who would dislike you enough to do it. And why?

These are the questions James and Cathy Strange have been asking themselves since Christmas Eve, when a vehicle jumped the sidewalk in front of their house to take out the two chain-link fences in their front yard, prior to screeching off.

“We have no idea why anyone would want to do this to us,” Cathy Strange says. “As far as I know, we don’t have any enemies. There’s no reason anyone has to really hate us. And our kids are all grown and moved out, so it’s not someone they’ve made mad. Neighbors saw a black Honda just hit the fences, and then it was out of there, apparently. It’s just very unsettling.”

According to Dallas Police Lt. Michael Woodberry, the logical explanation for the crime is that the fences were struck accidentally, perhaps after a driver had a little too much fun at a Christmas celebration. Acts of vehicular vandalism happen, but they’re somewhat uncommon, he says.

“I mean, even if you hated someone, why would you want to damage your vehicle on purpose,” Woodberry says. “There are better ways to get back at someone. I’m not saying I’ve never heard of someone using their vehicle to mess something up on purpose. I have. But I doubt that’s the case here. This sort of thing happens quite frequently, where someone accidentally hits a mailbox or fence and just takes off.”

Nonetheless, according to the police report, the neighbor who witnessed the crime says the driver seemed to intentionally aim toward the fences and drove around in the yard a bit before leaving.

Strange also believes criminal intentions could have been behind the act. The fact that the driver struck both of her fences seems like overkill, she says, and her road has been suffering far more acts of vandalism recently than it has in the past. This is possibly because of increased traffic on the street as of late, she says, much of which consists of drivers speeding through as a short cut.

“I just want to raise awareness to what’s going on around here, maybe have some increased patrols of the area,” Strange says. “I live right across the street from Reinhardt Elementary School. If it was unintentional, then we really need to make sure drivers like this aren’t speeding through this area.”