BirminghamJuly 3, 2012
Vandals cause $5,000 worth of damage at Birmingham cafe
By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer
While walking back to their car through downtown Birmingham early in the morning July 1, two men reportedly started flipping items over on the patio of Café Via. The cost of the damage they caused, according to the restaurant, is expected to be near $5,000.
“It was at 2 in the morning, and I think they had just left the bar,” said co-owner of Café Via Carol Cahalan. “They were on their way to the car in the parking structure behind us, and they just decided to get a little crazy.”
According to Cahalan, who was not at the restaurant when the vandalism occurred, employees heard a lot of commotion and banging coming from the outdoor dining area early Sunday morning as they were closing up. Three employees went outside, saw the vandals, and told the men they needed to leave. The suspects left the scene, and staff called Birmingham police.
Cahalan said that a good deal of damage was done to the outdoor furniture that the suspects flipped over, especially the table tops, which were made of granite. The attack, she said, seems to be unprovoked, since the area was empty at the time the suspects came through. She said that the staff doesn’t lock any of the furniture up when the restaurant closes, so the tables and chairs are accessible at most times.
According to Cmdr. Terry Kiernan of the Birmingham Police Department, despite the fact the suspects had left the scene, surveillance cameras in the area were able to capture the suspects’ images along with the vehicle they left the parking structure in. Kiernan said that based on the evidence on the video, it’s likely the vandals can be found.
“The charges will depend on the value amount of the damage. If in fact the damage is $5,000 it would be a four-year felony for malicious destruction of property over $1,000,” he said in an email.
Despite the damage, Cahalan said that Café Via is open for business on the patio, and she knows the vandals will face the consequences for what they did.
“A couple of knuckleheads decided to walk through our back area and throw things around, but I think the police will found out who it was,” she said.
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