HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Surveillance video captured a person carving racial slurs into a car in Hempfield Township and trying to set it on fire.
That is just one instance of vandalism that have been plaguing the Westmoreland County neighborhood.
"My laptop was in there and all my books," Emily Downing said. She showed Channel 11 the shattered glass in the backseat of her SUV after she found her back window smashed out when she got inside to go to class.
"I felt the breeze and I was thinking, 'Did I leave my back window down?' I looked back and saw the glass shattered and realized someone was in here," Downing said.
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Hers was one of about a half-dozen cars hit in the Maplewood Terrace neighborhood in Hempfield Township this week.
"There was stuff that I know was placed in compartments in there that was in the backseat and stuff like that and my loose change was taken," Downing said.
"Once they were in there they caused a lot of damage and broke into several different vehicles," Trooper Steve Limani, with Pennsylvania State Police, said.
Other cars were keyed and had knife cuts into the seats.
Police believe one car was specifically targeted because the person carved racial slurs into the hood.
A neighbor's surveillance camera picked up grainy image of the culprit. Investigators are hoping to catch him before he strikes again.
"It's very scary. Especially in a neighborhood like this, you'd never think of anything. Now we're scared of people coming into the house, or anything like that. It's very frightening," Downing said.
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