NewsCrime Watch


Billings residents frustrated by spree of vehicle vandalism

Clark car vandal.jpg
Posted at 8:23 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-15 10:50:11-04

BILLINGS - Many residents in one Billings neighborhood recently awoke to an unwelcome sight, vandalism to their cars.

The vandals were busy, hitting close to two dozen vehicles.

And many in the neighborhood are still cleaning up and making repairs.

Neighbors say the vandalism happened on Clark Avenue and Yellowstone Avenue between 15th Street West and 21st Street West.

Surveillance video shows one person in a car getting out and painting the windows on that side of the street.

As many as 20 vehicles parked on the streets may have been painted this past weekend.

"It's just like a violation of our property," said resident Kim MacDonald. "We park our cars on the street and they're ours. And that's right by our house. Our families are here. Our kids play and it just doesn't feel good to have people come and stop and write on your cars."

McDonald's family had windows on three vehicles painted.

A security camera caught the vandal in action, getting out of a car and painting the McDonald's car.

"White SUV style," MacDonald said about what she sees about the vandal's car on the video. "Commuter. Pretty nice car actually. And I think maybe a lady was the one that wrote on our car."

And just around the corner, it happened again.

"Without a doubt, it's the same time frame and so it's definitely the same vehicle," said resident Greg Miller.

Miller's vehicles were safely in his garage, but his cameras show other neighbors getting vandalized.

"Part of the footage is they got out and they had tagged," Miller said. "Tagged a vehicle a couple houses down."

Another neighbor still had paint on the window as of Tuesday.

The message painted that was also discovered on other cars, reads "MMIW Land Back," an apparent reference to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement.

Advocates in Billings said they don't condone the vandalism or believe the movement's supporters had anything to do with it.

"It's not the right way to show your support. It's vandalism and it's illegal," said MMIW grassroots advocate Cheryl Horn.

Neighbors said they were frustrated by the act, regardless of what the words said.

"You know, people mess up your nice things whether they want to spread a message or not. Maybe go about spreading your message a different way," said Riki Lynngoll.

"As far as the message itself, it brings awareness to it, I guess, but definitely the wrong way to go about it," Miller said.

Neighbors have reported the vandalism to police and are now hopeful their videos may lead to an arrest.

"There wasn't damage but it was inconvenient and annoying to wake up to that in the morning and have to deal with it," MacDonald said.