The Woodward News

Local News

August 29, 2013

Vandals, burglars strike businesses



Some of the restaurant owners seemed concerned that there is not much that law enforcement can do about the problem.

Both Gutierrez and Vassar said they are afraid that prosecutors won't give those responsible much beyond "a slap on the hand."

Vassar said that even though officers were able to stop the 3 suspects from the vandalism at his restaurant just moments after it was reported on Aug. 19, "it is now up to the DA to file charges."

"But I have a feeling we'll have a hard time getting anything prosecuted," he said, noting he doesn't feel much concern is given to crimes like vandalism by the District Attorney's office.

"If you write a bogus check you have more of a chance getting prosecuted once you get caught than you do for vandalism," he said.

However, he feels that only proper prosecution will curtail these types of vandalisms and burglaries.

"Until we have prosecution and these subjects are made to pay for what they broke and damaged, then they're just going to keep doing it," Vassar said.

But even if they are prosecuted and made to spend time in jail, Gutierrez said he doesn't believe that will stop the crimes.

"They can't keep them in jail forever, they will let them out eventually," he said.

Then he said the subject would just have the opportunity to do it again.

So instead, Gutierrez's solution is for the community to take a stand and let the person responsible know he is no longer welcome in Woodward.

That's why he said he had a friend post some of the security video footage from Tuesday's burglary of Ramiro's online through Facebook.

The video has been shared hundreds of times, but one link is available through the Woodward Pride Facebook page.

The video shows a shot of the suspect's face after he is seen using a chair or stool to access the breaker panel near the walk-in cooler at Ramiro's.

"I want to make sure everybody knows his face so he won't be comfortable here any more," Gutierrez said.  "Let's show people who he is and tell them don't trust him, even if you see him in Wal-Mart, and let's try to keep him away from Woodward."

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