Columbia Police Address Downtown Vandalism

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COLUMBIA - Columbia police are investigating multiple vandalism incidents that have occurred in downtown Columbia recently.

Sgt. Joe Bernhard said there have been 11 automobile and building vandalism incidents reported since March 28. Bernhard said the investigation has not revealed a pattern but that the incidents seem to be occurring on weekend nights.

The most recent incident occurred at the Coffee Zone coffee shop on Sunday morning. Coffee Zone owner Osama Yanis said this is the second time his shop has been vandalized in two weeks and he has no idea why.

"I don't know if someone pissed them off or if they have problems or mental issues," Yanis said. "We have no clue what's going on."

Yanis said seeing this happen again is disheartening.

"It's a very sick feeling to walk in and we work very hard for a living," Yanis said.

Bernhard said vandalism in the area has become a bigger priority in the police department.

"We have limited resources and the officers that do work that area are aware of these happening," Bernhard said. "They're working on other ways to maybe assign an officer or two more during that time down there to look for these kind of incidents. They are looking at it and looking for videos inside businesses and going around asking businesses if they have any videos that could possibly show these incidents."

Yanis said the police assigned a detective on Monday to investigate the vandalism at Coffee Zone.