The Sunoco on Gulfport Boulevard was vandalized in the early hours of Sunday, December 3 and also again early on Sunday, December 10.
Surveillance cameras at the gas station on 5150 Gulfport Blvd S. showed a man vandalizing Christmas lights hung on trees and bushes in front of and on one side of the store at around 2:45 a.m. to 3:20 a.m. in the first incident.
“He cut the wires and pulled them out of the ground and out of the metal boxes,” said Ravi who is a manager at the Sunoco. “He left metal wires exposed and created a shock hazard for others.”
The same man did similar damage exactly a week later, once again striking in the early morning and getting caught on video.
“He was almost bending the trees over while he was pulling on the wires,” said Ravi. “The paper guy saw a man while he was delivering papers and the man left the scene.”
The paper delivery person was later questioned by Gulfport police.
“The newspaper guy described the man as a white male, 5 feet 6 inches tall, having a mustache, and wearing a dark leather jacket and jeans,” said Detective Sergeant Thomas Woodman.
The two instances of vandalism did close to $1500 dollars in damages according to Ravi.
“It is expensive to do something like this to make the property look nice,” Ravi said. “We have good customers here and rarely any problems with anyone. It’s disappointing.”
Currently, this appears to be an isolated incident.
“We don’t have anything that appears directly related at this time,” said Woodman. “Unfortunately, we have vandalism of Christmas decorations every year.”
Anyone with information related to this incident is encouraged to call the Gulfport Police Department’s non-emergency line at 727-582-6177.