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New Market-area neighborhood rattled

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Virginia Marston, 43, stands beside the bullet hole that broke out the rear door window of her horse trailer Friday night at 1082 New Market Depot Road. The incident at her trailer was one of eight residents’ complaints received by the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office about windows being shot out. Rich Cooley/Daily







Gunshots, destruction upset area residents

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

NEW MARKET -- Two months after moving to New Market Depot Road from Augusta County, Virginia Marston has been left shaken by an armed vandal.

She discovered Saturday morning that someone had shot out the glass in her horse trailer. Marston said she then learned her family was one of several victims in the area.

The Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office received eight complaints of vehicle windows being shot out overnight Friday into Saturday, Capt. Tom Hodges said. All were in the areas of New Market, Forestville and Quicksburg. At 12:05 a.m. Saturday, a deputy was dispatched to the 3000 block of Senedo Road.

"The victim in this case heard the gunshot, [and] went outside to investigate," Hodges said.

In that incident, a rear window of a 2007 Kia Spectra had been shot, he said.

The gunshots, which seemed to be from a small-caliber gun, Hodges said, did several thousand dollars in damage.

But, Marston is concerned about something more precious than money. Her children had planned to camp out in the horse trailer over the weekend.

"It didn't happen, which was the grace of God," Marston said. "If my kids would've been in here ... this drive-by [shooting] would've been murder, and I would've found my children dead. This has got to stop. This could've been somebody's life."

Marston said she moved to the home in June.

"This is really scary for me as a new resident," she said. "I really thought it was a better place than that."

She implored residents to be aware of what's going on and report suspicious behavior.
"They could've killed my children," Marston said. "It just broke my heart. I can't even let my kids camp out and enjoy [their horses]."

The vandals struck Marston's neighbors, Frank and Jane Depreiter, too.

"I was washing windows on the porch and I heard this god-awful sound," Mrs. Depreiter said Monday.

On Saturday evening, her husband had opened his vehicle door and a window shattered. Mrs. Depreiter didn't know if it was shot when he was near the vehicle, or if his opening the door caused it to shatter after being cracked by a bullet.

Mrs. Depreiter said the bullet went through the back seat headrest and a DVD player before lodging in the headrest of the front seat.

"The night before last, mailboxes were smashed everywhere," she said. "Back in January, we were robbed big time. We were on vacation when the house was robbed. There's a crime spree going on out in the country."

Hodges said 29 mailboxes in the same area as the vandalized vehicles were struck with a blunt object overnight Saturday into Sunday. A victim whose car window was shot reported seeing a small vehicle with square taillights leaving the area after the shooting, Hodges said.

"It's unfortunate that these types of things happen, but we will investigate," Hodges said. "We will do our best to find out who did it."

Anyone with any information may call the Sheriff's Office at 459-6100.




3 Comments



Many years of law enforcement experience show an increase in vandalism cases, i.e., mailboxes destroyed, windows shot out, during the 2-3 weeks prior to the school term beginning. In many cases, the vandalism is caused by teenagers who have nothing better to occupy their time other than to destroy someone else's property. Unfortunately, many of these cases go unsolved, but there are times when the perpetrators are caught, so don't give up hope. Our law enforcement in the Shenandoah Valley are professional organizations who dedicate their lives to the protection of our citizens. Maybe it is TIME for parents to find out what their children are doing and become pro-active with their teenagers!

If and when you see/hear anything suspicious, immediately call law enforcement; don't wait a few hours. But, please remember "911" is for life-threatening emergencies only so keep your local law enforcement phone number handy.

I can understand the anger and frustration of the victims of these events.

As a retired law enforcement officer I can also understand the position that they [ Sheriff's Office ] are in with a large county and few officers on the road day or night.

In the 7 years I have lived at Basye I have seen ONE marked sheriff's vehicle in our area. This does not bode well for effective enforcement but you get what you pay for. If you object to higher taxes you get less public service.

Regular visible patrols do act as a deterent to some extent.

It is fortunate that no one was standing in the wrong place when this happened or it could have been MUCH worse.

Bob Frey
Basye Va.



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