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Car on Wheeling Island vandalized, marked with racial slurs, profanity

WHEELING — Police are investigating a vandalism case that occurred over the weekend in which racial slurs were gouged into a teenager’s car, in addition to the vehicle’s mirrors being smashed and tires slashed.

A social media post made early Sunday morning showed a red car with racial slurs and other profanity scratched into the paint of the car, along with broken side mirrors and flattened tires.

The post, made by the owner’s mother, said the damage would likely cost around as much as the car was worth to repair.

Police said the incident, which occurred on North Wabash Street, was reported around 11:50 a.m. Sunday morning. It was reported as a destruction of property call, and the matter is being investigated as a vandalism complaint.

Wheeling Police Public Information Officer Philip Stahl said that despite the racial slurs, the matter was not being investigated as a possible hate crime . However, he said police were treating the matter seriously, with a detective being assigned to the case.

“There were vulgar words inscribed on the car,” Stahl said. “There was a racial slur, and we don’t have any subjects right now, but we’re checking our camera registry that we just launched, seeing if anyone in the neighborhood registered their camera. … It would help us out by seeing if there was any surveillance footage.

“Hopefully we’re able to use footage from that night to see if there are any suspects to identify in the case.”

In the aftermath of the vandalism, Minit Car Wash and Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration had both reached out to the family to offer their services in undoing the damage done to the car.

“I’ve got a good friend of mine, a body man, who works real cheap,” said John Wojcowski of Minit Car Wash. “I’m gonna do whatever I can for the (victim).”

A crowdfunding campaign to help the family recoup the cost of repairs, set up Sunday with a goal of $5,000, had gathered nearly $8,000 by Monday afternoon from more than 280 donors.

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