Vandals damage multiple greenhouses at Wichita business

Crime

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita business is picking up the pieces after vandals caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.

You can’t help but notice the damage done to one of Johnson’s Garden Centers’ greenhouse walls.

“You can see the cuts in this wall,” said Jeremy Johnson, Johnson’s Garden Centers owner.

Large cuts and holes run across the length of one of the greenhouses at the location on West 13th Street. Vandals didn’t stop there. They also scattered pots, threw metal sign holders through the roof, kicked in the back door, and sprayed fire extinguishers inside a third greenhouse.

“It looked like somebody had been sanding,” said Johnson. “There was dust all over the place.”

Surveillance video appears to show three teenage boys walking across the parking lot near closing time Sunday. The owner says employees asked them to leave when the store closed at 5 p.m., but security camera video suggests they returned.

“It shows them exiting about 6 o’clock right after they had been chased off the first time,” said Johnson.

Security cameras never captured the teens in the act but based on the timeline, the owner believes they are responsible.

“The security camera footage didn’t see anything else overnight where people were in or on the property,” said Johnson.

Johnson estimates the damage at several thousands of dollars.

“We’re trying to get things ready for the next season, and now, we’re going to order new greenhouse roofs and greenhouse walls,” said Johnson.

The lack of respect for other’s property he said is frustrating and disappointing.

“We all work hard, and it’s going to cost money and cost time for our employees to get this all cleaned up,” said Johnson.

Johnson said the teens in the video have been identified. Police are still investigating the case. The owner tells KSN they are wanting to press charges.

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