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Downtown Columbia business owners battling vandals

Windows are breaking at some businesses across downtown Columbia. It has now been two weeks of problems and no answers as to who is responsible.

Employees at Coffee Zone on Ninth Street told ABC 17 News they got hit late Wednesday night, just blocks from the police station.

“The guy in the morning came up and he’s like, hey, somebody threw a rock through the window,” said Issam Yanis, owner of Coffee Zone. “We came and the rock was inside the store.”

Yanis said he filed a police report and that his isn’t the only business that has had a problem.

Iron Tiger Tattoo, just one block over from Coffee Zone, also has a window in disrepair.

The owners of the tattoo shop said their window was broken two weeks ago.

Yanis said he thinks vandalism downtown is getting worse.

“It’s getting major,” he said. “This is major and it’s going to increase more and more.”

Yanis said if something isn’t done, it could have a negative effect.

“It’s going to probably hurt businesses,” he told ABC 17 News. “It’s going to hurt downtown in the long run.”

Yanis said he has a camera inside his shop, but it doesn’t capture anything outside. There is also a camera across the street, but he said it hasn’t helped in this case.

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