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A suspected car vandal has done serious damage to several vehicles parked near the public library in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, according to a report by local television station WECT.

Area resident Steve Hotz told the news station the costs to repair his red sports car after a recent incident topped $3,000.Park carefully so that vandals won't have easy access to cars

“They cut it through the roof and the cover from here to there,” Hotz said, adding “they tried to open the trunk but it opens on the other end, so I guess they couldn’t figure it out.”

There was a security guard within 50 feet of Hotz’ car during the entire incident, he told WECT, but no action was taken. Nor has the vandalism been limited to his car alone, according to the news station.

“A bartender I work with had his car vandalized. The two police officers who responded to my call said they don’t park in that garage,” he told the TV station. Hotz also added that his daughter’s car had been damaged by the vandal.

A representative of the company that owns the garage, Lanair Parking, told WECN the inattentive security guard could be disciplined.

Experts say it’s imperative for motorists to make sure to leave their cars in well-lit, well-traveled areas, regardless of whether they are on the street or in garages. Simply removing the opportunity for a casual vandal or thief to damage a vehicle unnoticed should keep it safe from all but the most determined.

Additionally, valuable items – particularly portable ones like laptop computers and digital media players – should either be kept out of sight or taken from the car when the motorist leaves it, experts add.