Kids vandalize Southside business complex


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Broken windows and doors, and sprinklers ripped from the ground are the result of just a few things three kids decided to do Sunday afternoon at a business complex off Sunbeam Road.

"It's not a significant amount of damage, but it's enough to hurt your wallet," said Omar Kandah, who owns the building.

Kandah said he's got surveillance cameras all around the building that show the kids broke into part of the building still under construction, causing hundreds of dollars in damage.

"The camera is primarily a deterrent," said Vlad Gusev, a tax professional for Sunbeam Income Tax. "We're not trying to catch people in the act. What we're trying to do is for them to see the camera, see the security features and immediately be deterred by that and leave. That's the ideal situation."

That didn't stop the group of kids, seen in security video scoping out the back of the building.

They went in through a window, and once inside began kicking in doors. One of the kids had his friend help him.

Once the kids realized they were on camera, they attempted to break it. They successfully broke the glass, but that recorded video was already on a hard drive.

One of the kids jumped on top of the air conditioning unit behind the building. Kandah said that is one of the things that scared him the most.

"They can get hurt," he said. "If you can see the video, they're jumping on top of the AC, whatever it is, compressor, whatever. They're jumping off it. (If) that thing breaks, it's going to cut you. Or if you fall off and break your hands on the windows. So it's bad for both sides."

Kandah has one message for the kids:

"Please stop. Just quit," he said. "We're hurting here. The economy is pretty bad, we're all trying to make money here. We're running a business. It's costing real people real money. We can't afford to keep having issues with vandalism going on around here. Hopefully somebody would talk to these kids and find them something more productive for them to do on the weekends."

Channel 4 watched the video with Alan Weaver, who works near the business park on Sunbeam Road.

"He's pushing on the wall and he's pushing on the fence. No regard for private property at all -- with the personal property -- jumping on the AC unit," said Weaver.

The damage is extensive -- broken windows, busted doors and sprinklers ripped from the ground. Even the surveillance camera did not stop the teens from destruction.

"If they were just hanging out it wouldn't be so bad, instead of break things," said Weaver.

Weaver and his boss, Troy McGee, said they've had their air conditioning units vandalized several months ago but they don't believe the two incidents are connected. He said because his business is more out in the open, he's not worried that his building will be next.

"Kids will be kids. I'm not that concerned about it," said McGee. "They are 12 maybe 10-year-old. If they were 18, 15, I might be a little more concerned."

The owners said if you know who the kids are you can call crime stoppers: 1-866-845-TIPS.