Employees at the American Veterans Thrift Store on Route 24 near the Route 1 intersection north of Rehoboth Beach came to work Aug. 30 to find paint splattered on the front of the building and on several donations left by the front door.
“We think it happened last night,” said employee Robin Wriston. “It's a shame because all of the donations, including a nice TV, were damaged and will have to be thrown in the garbage. They could have sold for $200.”
She added, “We do have cameras and the owners are going through footage.”
Wriston said the building, which opened in May, had just been painted, and it appears one of the 5-gallon paint buckets stored around the side was used to vandalize the building. Paint was also smeared on the front door of the Linda Vista Real Estate Services office next door.
Linda Vista owner Jose Quinones said the office is still under construction with an opening planned soon. “When I pulled up, I thought for sure the front window had been smashed. Thank goodness it was only paint,” he said.
Thrift store owners Liz and Gene Cooley, both Army veterans, are offering a $500 reward to anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction. Phone 302-644-5020 to provide information. The incident is under investigation by Delaware State Police.
Money made from the sale of items at the thrift shop goes toward Home of the Brave shelters for homeless male and female veterans in Milford.