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Avia, Wyckoff Residents Targeted in Vicious Vandalism

More than $10,000 dollars in damages, including spray painted expletives and derogatory terms, were done to former Wyckoff Township Committee Candidate Eileen Avia's home, and two residents' cars Saturday night.

Vandals defaced the Voorhis Avenue home of a former committee candidate and local teacher, as well as the cars of a pair of Wyckoff residents during a party Saturday night.

Eileen Avia was hosting a get together for about 20 supporters of her erstwhile campaign Saturday night, she said, when someone spray painted her garage door and the fiber-cement siding on two sides of her home.

The offending delinquent also spray painted expletives and used an object to gouge deep scratches in two cars parked near Avia's home. Both cars belonged to party guests.

Avia, 64, said most party guests left her home late Saturday night around 10 p.m. — some left earlier and some later — but no one noticed the damage on the home or the cars until the next morning.

"We discovered that a couple of cars were severely keyed and spray painted," Avia said. "My house was spray painted, 'I am a pig' all over my house. 

"I'm really, really upset," she said.

Her home had been resided two years ago, and she estimates the damages to be in the thousands. 

Avia, a teacher at Eisenhower Middle School, said she was clueless as to who might want to inflict such vicious damage on her and her acquaintances. She said there had been no conflicts recently in her professional or personal life. 

"I'm a very peaceful person, I can't think of a soul [who would want to do this,]" she said. 

A walk through the quiet Voorhis Avenue neighborhood on Monday morning revealed that no nearby homes had been vandalized, indicating that this was likely a targeted attack.

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox confirmed Tuesday that there were no similar vandalism incidents reported Saturday night.

Linda Kosowicz, a party attendee, first noticed the damage early Sunday morning at her Crescent Avenue home and called police.  

Wyckoff Police responded and questioned Kosowicz, then followed up with Avia later Sunday morning. Avia also notified police Sunday morning after Kosowicz contacted her.

Authorities arrived on Voorhis Avenue to investigate the crime soon thereafter, Avia said.

According to police, a spray can found in the woods across the street from her home had at least partial fingerprints on it, Avia said.

Conversations with the department were ongoing, she added.

Kosowicz, a township crossing guard worries about how the vandalism will affect her job.

"Do I drive my car so the kids can see the F word?" Kosowicz asked. "If I don't go, [I] don't get paid." 

Kosowicz, who is currently battling stage 4 cancer, was also baffled as to who might have committed the crime.

"I really feel sorry for people today — they have nothing better to do but vandalize someone's home and two cars at a Christmas Party," said Kosowicz

She was confident, however, that those who committed the crime would be caught.

"This is not going away — even if it takes a year to find who ever did this," she added.

Avia, meanwhile, suspects that the crime had been committed by an adult. 

"I don't think this was the work of a kid," she said. "To gouge the cars so deeply would require the strength of an adult." 

Kosowicz said that according to initial estimates, fixing the damages to her Hyundai Tiburon would cost her $4,492.

The second vandalized car, also belonging to a Wyckoff resident, was spray painted with an expletive and keyed, as well. Damages to that car are estimated at $3,261, according to Avia. 

Her car was parked in the garage, Avia said, and was undamaged.

Anyone with information on this crime should contact the Wyckoff Police Department at 201-891-2121.

Stay with Wyckoff Patch for more on this developing story.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Scondo December 11, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Was the pool guy paid ?
Resident December 11, 2012 at 08:45 PM
This town is loosing its class. How sad this went on just around the police station. Those vandals must have some kind of protection or conection.
John A. Unglert December 11, 2012 at 09:11 PM
This is terrible. There is no place in our Town or Country where such actions should ever happen. I will trust the WPA will do all in its abilities to solve this and solve it quickly. This is an assault on Ms. Avia, her friends and neighbors.
AML December 11, 2012 at 09:56 PM
This is no laughing matter and yet you make fun by your insensitive comment. Let's see if you will say the same thing when something happens to your home. You are as "classless" as the people who committed the crime.
Anthony Trezza December 11, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Retired Cop Like the pool guy this is not a randomn act.D/V, fight over a boy or a girlfriend.
Q December 11, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Wouldn't surprise me if the culprit is never brought to light. I would think vandalism like this would be more likely if Ms. Avia was elected. Nasty thing to do regardless. Scondo is referring to Oakland's Tyger Pool Co. guys who took a chain saw to a Wyckoff tree and threw logs into car windows over a bill dispute a short time ago. A little funny, if a bit insensitive to Ms. Avia and Co.'s plight. A plight for all of us who prefer to reside in a town that's home to peaceful, tolerant people.
MER December 12, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Since the internet is a great place to speculate I'll go ahead... if she had 20 people over to her house that means there was likely a lot of vehicles parked in front of neighboring houses? So I am going to put my money on a disgruntled 'neighbor'. But of course this is completely unacceptable behavior. I hope whoever did this is caught.
peanut622 December 12, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Lack of education garage door says "I a pig" not I'm a pig Coward and fool to the woman battling cancer I'm sorry to you it breaks my heart happy holidays and good luck with your battle
Janet December 12, 2012 at 04:35 AM
It really is a shame. A good investment these days is a surveillance camera. Even if you just get raccoon's on it, it gives you piece of mind.
Ed December 12, 2012 at 06:47 AM
Bless you peanut622!!! I'm sure the woman will take heart and comfort from your kind words.. I too wish her all the best in her battle against the Big C.
kathy s December 12, 2012 at 09:37 PM
Eileen is a wonderful, caring person. Whoever committed these cowardly acts needs to be punished.
Lily Ebanson December 13, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Wait and see...it will again be some punks from Oakland....
jennifer Smith December 13, 2012 at 04:12 PM
This is horrible! it is also bad to post your assumption of "punks from Oakland". Please be careful not to fight ignorance with ignorance!
Mari Keating Schofield December 13, 2012 at 04:57 PM
It's so viscious. I would think that it is some one she knows? Disgusting! If it was a young teen/kid... They have a tendencey to brag. It will get out. Gross!!!!
Ed December 14, 2012 at 10:45 PM
They are probably what is now considered "misunderstood youths." They're probably angels if you ask their parents!!
Patti Tee December 15, 2012 at 08:47 AM
I agree @Jennifer Smith--if you have been following the Wyckoff news the past few months you would notice a trend of crime caused by youth from Oakland. Weird. I wonder what the motive for this vandalism was? doesn't make sense.
sam December 15, 2012 at 05:37 PM
well, I see how you would think that, but honestly, If it happened right under the noses of the people IN the house, how on earth could the Police have know about it?! (from a couple of blocks away) The vandal simply got lucky (for now) that he or she did not get caught in the actual act!
sam December 15, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Oh Lily, you sound like an ignoramus! Oakland may have its seedy area, but so does Wyckoff ! There are many homes in Oakland that are over the 750 k price tag too, and a regional school system to boot. Think about the defamation of an entire town before you speak!
sam December 15, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I'm not from Oakland, and just want to give each town its due respect, lets not forget about the vandals from both Wyckoff and franklin Lakes as well over the past few months! In fact, I believe that a Wyckoff girl lured her ex boyfriend to a Wyckoff elementary school for a beating and robbery recently? That is much worse then cutting down a tree no? At any rate, once again, I am in no way defending the stupid actions of the young men in question, I just want to remind us all to keep the true issue in sight! Even at 18 or 21, we need to parent our children and teach them right from wrong!
Marc Wallice December 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Wyckoff is becoming Paterson.
sam December 16, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Trust me, Paterson is worse. for the 4 things in a YEAR in Wyckoff that happened, Paterson has that in an hour. And word on the street is that the Vandal is a Wyckoff resident, and NOT a minor. Time will tell once it is confirmed.
JAZ December 17, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Is there any update on this story... ?
j December 18, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Don't forget those ice-pick brandishing Oakland kids in Boulder Run, they carry more than just chainsaws.
Bob burns January 30, 2013 at 03:11 AM
I've no doubt these idiots will be caught. Who's the other idiot that keeps bringing the town of Oakland into this? REALLY ??? Have you looked around our town as of late? We've got our own fair share of possible culprits right here amongst our own! I'll bet it's a few students..... Extremely juvenile.
Jay March 21, 2013 at 10:06 PM
This is awful. Ms. Avia is soooo nice. When I went to Eisenhower she was always the teacher most involved with community service and helped to move kids in the same direction. I don't have a terrible amount of doubt that it was older teens/young adults that did this considering all that happens in Wyckoff lately. In fact I am in fear for my own families property and well-being because of all the break-ins that have been happening in Wyckoff. I fear this so much so that I am considering putting a pause on my studies so I can be around to help protect my family and property until the Wyckoff PD can either reign in on the recent increase in crime or until my family decides to move to a safer location. I am disappointed considering it Wyckoff was such a nice town 10-12 years ago.


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