Schenectady

Jay Street businesses hit with BB gun vandalism in Schenectady

At least eight locations damaged
A shattered window seen at The Whistling Kettle on Jay Street Tuesday
PHOTOGRAPHER:
A shattered window seen at The Whistling Kettle on Jay Street Tuesday

Categories: News, Schenectady County

SCHENECTADY — Authorities are investigating a vandalism spree in which at least eight downtown locations had their windows pockmarked by a BB or pellet gun overnight Tuesday, police said.

Damage was minor at most locations and left storefront windows largely intact aside from Whistling Kettle, where a large pane had spiderwebbed, and Pizza King, which had repaired damage by Tuesday afternoon. 

“It appears they’ve all been done by pellet or BB gun,” said police Sgt. Jeff McCutcheon. 

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident, which authorities said happened between midnight and 2 a.m. Tuesday.

“We’re using all the surveillance cameras as we can,” McCutcheon said. “There are quite a few in the downtown area, and we hope to get info on a suspect shortly.”

Damage was primarily contained to Jay Street. Affected locations also included New York Folklore Society, Open Door Bookstore, PLACE Alliance New York, Gala Boutique, Citizens Bank and a location at 30 Jay St.

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The shooting spree comes as downtown is beginning to gradually stir back to life following months-long shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The state authorized limited retail and outdoor dining beginning last week, and restaurants are preparing to offer dine-in service as early as June 17.

“It’s just really sad,” said Abby Rockmacher, president of the Jay Street Business Association. “We’ve been dealing with so much downtown. We’re all uncertain what the next step is. Do we hire a security guard? Board up our windows like Troy? There’s not a good answer for how we will deal with this.”

Ellen McHale, executive director of New York Folklore Society, pointed at the small hole in the storefront window, acknowledged the quality glass prevented further damage.

“It’s just unfortunate,” McHale said. “I hope it’s an isolated incident.”

This isn’t the first time Jay Street Marketplace has been vandalized amid the pandemic.

Numerous downtown businesses were tagged with politically-charged rhetoric in mid-April, resulting in at least one arrest.

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