CHICAGO — Bridgeport’s poop vandal has been terrorizing the neighborhood for years — though his weapon of choice hasn’t always been feces, one victim thinks.
Tom Wielgate, a Bridgeport resident for more than 50 years, said he thinks the area’s newly popped-up poop vandal has been vandalizing cars on his and nearby blocks for at least three years. The only difference: Wielgate’s longtime vandal uses watermelon and, more recently, sand and oil on the cars around 31st and Aberdeen streets.
The neighborhood’s poop vandal has, so far, stuck exclusively to feces (either human or animal; no one’s sure), smearing it on homes and cars in in a separate part of Bridgeport. He’s only been around for a few months.
“It has to be the same guy. Who else would do something like this? It definitely has to be the same guy,” Wielgate said. “He owes a lot of car washes to a lot of people, I can tell you that much.”
Wielgate’s vandal has targeted the same cars — including Wielgate’s about 15 times — over and over during those three years, leaving “huge gobs of spit” and rinds and hunks of watermelon on windshields and car antennas sometimes as often as once a week.
Neighbors have said the man broke parts of their car while leaving the watermelon; one victim said she’d been away from her car for three days and, when she came back, found the man had left watermelon on her antenna and the juices had dripped down and dried all over her car, Wielgate said. She had to get the car’s exterior buffed to remove the damage.
Another neighbor had lettuce and orange peels left on her car, Wielgate said.
The vandalism confused residents like Wielgate because the acts seemed so random and, frankly, they couldn’t figure out how the man had access to so much watermelon.
“I’m wondering, where is he getting all this watermelon from?” Wielgate said. “We thought maybe he worked for a buffet or something.”
Wielgate set up security cameras and they’ve captured video and photos of the man, who wears a hat and surgical mask. Wielgate’s also sat out secretly watching for the man only to miss him by minutes on a few occasions.
Watch a video of the watermelon vandal:
Wielgate thought the vandal had been caught or gave up because the man didn’t leave out watermelon all winter. But then, just last month, the man mixed oil and sand and left it on Wielgate’s car. He had to get the car detailed.
And two weeks ago, Wielgate saw the man had left hunks of watermelon on a car near 31st and Aberdeen streets. That was surprising, Wielgate said, because his own car hadn’t been targeted and “usually [the vandal’s] got his routine” of targeting the same vehicles.
“It’s like he doesn’t stop,” Wielgate said.
Wielgate and others have reported the incidents to police in the past, but he hasn’t done so recently because nothing’s ever been done.
But Wielgate contacted Block Club Chicago about the watermelon-wielding vandal after reading about how a man is smearing feces, either dog or human, on homes and car door handles in Bridgeport.
Tony Wu, who had poop smeared on his car door handle, has been talking with neighbors and found out there have been at least 15 such incidents in the area over the last month and a half.
Watch a video of the poop vandal:
At least one of those victims has been targeted repeatedly, with the vandal wiping feces on that family’s door three times, Wu said.
Wu’s neighbors have contacted police about the poop vandal, but officers said they had no new leads as of last week.
And despite getting video of the poop vandal, Wu hasn’t had any luck figuring out who the man is or why and how he’s carrying out his acts of vandalism.
“There’s no way he just has feces laying around to smear on people’s cars,” Wu said. “He has to be collecting it somehow.”
Wielgate thinks the vandals are one and the same because of their striking similarities: The poop and watermelon incidents have happened in Bridgeport and the vandal wears a mask.
The acts of vandalism also occur early in the morning in both instances: The poop vandal typically strikes 3-5 a.m., Wu said, while Wielgate’s watermelon vandal used to hit 6-7 a.m. but is now targeting cars 5-6 a.m.
Wielgate said if he ever did spot the vandal, he’d follow him home and contact police so they knew where to get the man.
“Hopefully one day, one day they’re gonna catch him,” Wielgate said. “Someone’s gotta catch him sooner or later.
“This has gotta end some time. He’s doing too much weird stuff.”
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