July 26, 2013

Wider area hit by vandals

Charles Oliver

— Local law enforcement officials now say the number of businesses vandalized early Tuesday morning was greater than first known.

The Dalton Police Department says 43 businesses had their windows broken, probably between 4 and 5 a.m. The Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office says seven businesses in its jurisdiction had their windows busted at around the same time.

“The list shows businesses on Glenwood Avenue, Morris Street locations, Hamilton Street locations, Thornton Avenue locations, Walnut Avenue locations and one on Pentz Street,” said Dalton Police Department spokesman Bruce Frazier.

Ridley Furniture was one of six businesses hit on Morris Street.

“Half of the front of my window was blown out,” said owner B.W. Ridley. “They did a lot of damage over here from the railroad tracks to the top of the hill and then on to Walnut Avenue.”

Sheriff’s Office Capt. Rick Swiney said vandals hit three businesses on South Dixie Highway outside the Dalton city limits and four more on East Walnut Avenue outside city limits.

Doug Caldwell of Caldwell Carpet on South Dixie Highway said the vandals broke one of his windows.

“I haven’t had it replaced yet. But I had to have it replaced a couple of years ago and it cost $500,” he said.

Caldwell said he’s never had anything like this happen to his business before.

“The only thing we’ve had to worry about is rocks thrown up by cars on the highway,” he said.

Officials say they are investigating all of the crimes as part of a series.

“Our investigators are talking to the Dalton police and cooperating with them,” said Swiney.