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Published: July 30, 2008 10:13 am ShareThisPrintThis
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Rude Awakening: Laundromat owner discovers business trashed by vandals
By Jonathan L'Ecuyer
Staff Writer

ROCKPORT - Vandals struck a Whistlestop Mall Laundromat early Sunday morning, strewing trash, toppling a potted plant and even defecating on the floor before leaving.
Claire Hobbs, owner of Loco-Motion Laundromat, notified police of the vandalism at 6:12 a.m. Sunday, after Hobbs discovered the mess upon opening for business Sunday.
The Laundromat's door locks and lights are on a timer; because there were no signs of forced entry, Hobbs suspects one of her customers may have left the door open Saturday night, or that the suspects entered before the doors locked at 9 p.m. Saturday.
"It must have been kids," Hobbs said yesterday, "the rock station was on the radio. They just trashed the place, made a mess and left it for us."
According to police, the business at 29 Whistlestop Mall was "severely vandalized" with "feces left on the floor."
Hobbs said none of her washers and dryers were damaged and no money was taken from the premises.
"Nothing was destroyed and they didn't get any money; that's a good thing," Hobbs said. "Things were thrown about, our plant was thrown on the floor and dirt was everywhere. Just stupid stuff."
Hobbs described the area as "pretty dismal" at night, adding if the lights were off inside the Laundromat, the darkness would prevent passersby from seeing anything.
The Laundromat, which is open seven days a week, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., was back in business soon after Hobbs and her husband, George, finished the massive clean-up Sunday morning.
Police also suspect kids are behind the vandalism; as of yesterday, however, there were no suspects in the case.
Hobbs hopes police will step up patrols in the area around Whistlestop Mall as a result of the incident.
In addition to the Laundromat case, police yesterday were also investigating over a half-dozen other vandalism cases reported between Saturday and Monday. Many of those reports were for damaged vehicles, such as cars with smashed rear windows and a driver's-side door damaged by a suspected BB bullet.
Police have no suspects and have not determined if the incidents are related.
Jonathan L'Ecuyer can be reached at [email protected].
 
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