Krishna Salguero, an employee at the Bay Tree Bookstore, was consumed with misunderstanding and anger, as she vacuumed pieces of shattered glass strewn across the floor at her work Wednesday morning.
“I can’t wrap my head around the mentality of vandalism and the satisfaction that someone would receive from something like this,” Salguero said.
Around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night, 10 large, storefront-sized windows were smashed and broken at the Bay Tree Bookstore by two unidentified males throwing rocks.
A janitor working nearby heard the commotion and yelled at the vandals to stop. The janitor then witnessed the two men run through Quarry Plaza toward the stairs leading to McLaughlin Drive and shortly after notified the UCSC Police Department, who arrived at the scene after the men had fled.
Police told Bob McCampbell, Store Director of the Bay Tree Bookstore, that anyone responsible for the damages would likely be indicted with felony vandalism and prosecuted. No suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.
“I am really saddened that something like this has happened. I don’t understand why. Lots of students were expressing grief,” McCampbell said.
Nothing was stolen from the bookstore and no signs of graffiti were found, yet further investigation is currently underway and motives for the damage are unclear.
Pieces of assorted cardboard boxes currently replace the space where windows once stood, but repairing the damage will require more than that.
According to information released by Jim Burns, Staff Director of University Relations, the “preliminary estimates suggest that the price tag could get as high as $25,000.”
The damaged windows of the bookstore are double-pane windows and four of them are made of light reflective glass that is made to insulate the building, reducing heating and cooling costs.
“These are unnecessary expenses we shouldn’t have to pay,” McCampbell said. “We try to keep costs as low as we can at the bookstore, and these things don’t help.”
Many upset students and employees shared concerns about the reparation of the damages and the amount of money and work that it would require, considering the current impact budget cuts are having on the UC system.
“We’re going to end up paying for it,” said Nadia Vargas, a undeclared second-year College Ten student, “so I’m pretty upset.”
It could take up to an estimated six weeks to repair the windows, but “in the meantime, campus grounds crews are taking interim steps to seal and secure the cracked windows,” Burns said in an e-mail.
Students and faculty are still trying to comprehend the damages that resulted from the vandalism and are hoping to find out more information.
Salguero conveyed further dismay regarding the incident. “We [as employees] work really hard for the students and something like this hurts them,” she said.
Any information regarding the criminal activity can be given to Detective Steve Garcia, who may be contacted through the UCSC PD Office at (831) 459-2231 and reports may also be made anonymously at (831) 459-3847 or submitted online via: www2.ucsc.edu/police/crime.html.