Friday 15 November 2019

Police unable to crack case after man's (85) house egged every week for a year

An 85-year-old man says his Ohio home has been pelted with eggs several times a week for a year, and police have not been able to crack the case despite stakeouts, questioning neighbours, installing a surveillance camera and even testing eggshells as evidence.

The homeowner and police suspect the eggs are launched a street or two away, the Northeast Ohio Media Group reported.

Albert Clemens Sr said whoever is responsible has "phenomenal" accuracy, launching five or six at a time and often hitting the front door of the green, two-storey home that he and his late wife bought nearly six decades ago in a Cleveland suburb.

The after-dark attacks sometimes sound like gunshots as eggs splatter on the aluminium siding, creating a residue that strips the paint, he said.

He used to clean up each time but stopped because it happens so often. His insurer will not settle a claim until police catch the vandal or vandals, so Mr Clemens is waiting until then to make repairs.

But he refuses to move from the home he shares with his adult daughter and son, on a corner less than a mile from the police station.

"I would live and die in this house - but it's been kind of a nightmare," Mr Clemens told the media group.

Officers have not determined a suspect or specific motive, though they have suspicions.

"Somebody is deeply, deeply angry at somebody in that household for some reason," Lt Mitch Houser said.

Police traced the eggs to a local Amish farm, but fingerprinting shattered shells proved useless because egg proteins destroy DNA.

Door-to-door questioning yielded no tips and a 1,000 dollar (£660) reward for information remains unclaimed.

Police have spent hundreds of hours on the investigation but their involvement does not seem to be a deterrent. Once, an egg hit an officer on the foot as he took a report on the vandalism.

The egging has been rarer during cold weather, but Mr Clemens and the officers anticipate the attacks will increase with the temperature.

"We're not going to let it go," Mr Houser said.

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