Several businesses in downtown Manteca remain open after their front windows were shot out overnight Friday by a still unknown culprit.
Damages could easily exceed $10,000 based on the replacement cost of a typical large plate glass window.
Among the commercial establishments whose windows were broken were the Book Exchange and Studio 1507 on North Main Street, three on Yosemite Avenue including the Century Furniture and the recently opened Hats and Boots restaurant, and the beauty salon on the corner of Maple Avenue and Center Street just across from the post office.
Police do not have any suspect and are still investigating the multiple vandalism incidents at this time. Police Chief Jodie Estarziau and police spokesman Sergeant Steve Schluer were both out of the office and not available for comment Friday.
It was back to business as usual though for the stores whose owners and staff immediately went to work cleaning up the mess of broken glass strewn all over their front windows and inside.
At the Book Exchange on North Main, employee Lois Bragg Colvin was already at the store at around 4 a.m. after receiving a call about the incident from business owner Cheryl Lovering who was contacted by the police.
“She said the store had been broken into and the windows were smashed out,” Colvin said.
Lovering was unable to get a hold of the building landlord, Colvin said, so she volunteered to “go and see what was going on and be her ears and eyes.”
The police were gone by the time she arrived, with the landlord already there. They both cleaned up the inside of the store, getting rid of things that needed to be discarded. They also took the time to help the owners of the beauty salon next door whose front windows were also smashed completely.
By about 6 a.m., the cleanup was completed. Plywood to cover the entire front windows of the book store was installed soon after.
Store manager Elaine Ivey hang up a large brown paper in front with the notice, “OPEN,” to let everyone know that the bookstore was open for business despite the boarded up store front.
Employees at the Century Furniture were still cleaning up the mess at 10 a.m.
At the Hats and Boots restaurant on East Yosemite, the former Papa Joe’s Barbecue on the corner of Grant Street, manager and business co-owner Alex Hernandez said that, fortunately, “not all of the (windows) were broken but only the ones on the Yosemite (Avenue) side.” Like the staff at Book Exchange, Hernandez said they immediately got down to cleaning up the mess and promptly opened for business at the usual time for the lunch-time crowd of customers.
He said they’ve been open barely six months after Papa Joe’s went out of business. The building was closed for a year before the Hernandez brothers decided to open Hats and Boots, providing the same menu fare that was offered by their predecessor. Hernandez said they will be open for the Labor Day crowd on Monday until 3 p.m. Regular business hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.