By Jano Tantongco
The front windows of Ripe Art Gallery in Greenlawn were riddled with 11 holes, apparently from BB gun shots, while the store was closed overnight Tuesday.
The holes, which line up as a row across the front of the store’s two windows, were found by employee Karley Krouppa just before 11 a.m., she said.
“I opened up the curtain and saw the holes and said, ‘Wow, what just happened here?’” Krouppa said. “Thank goodness all the windows were double-paned.”
Then, she opened up the other curtain and saw that the other window was shot as well. None of the pellets pierced the second window, so there was no damage inside.
Suffolk police said the holes appear to have been made with shots from a BB gun.
The gallery’s front door also had small dent.
Gallery owner Cherie Rexer said she did not understand why anyone would do this to her store.
“We literally just got back to work last week,” said Rexer. “I deal with artists… so it’s not like I’m in a volatile situation or business where I’m going to make enemies.”
Rexer noted that the gallery has been at that location for almost three years now. She said nothing like this has happened since they have been there.
Robert Rexer, Cheri’s husband, estimated the total cost of the damage would come out to be $3,000 to $4,000.
Speaking with Cherie Rexer, the police officer on scene noted that in the past three months there have been six or seven similar incidents in the area.
“It could be totally random,” said Rexer. “It doesn’t make me feel any better, though.”
Later in the day, Rexer covered the windows with plywood until they could be repaired.
“Here’s my fear: What if they come back tonight? What if they get through the second pane of glass and get into the store? Now I’m living in fear… I’m getting cynical.”