SEATTLE - With acts of vandalism, arson and theft on track to match levels seen in 2021 in the city of Seattle, glass repair businesses and technicians are doing their best to keep up with orders.
So far in 2022, Seattle police say that more than 22,000 property crimes have been reported in the city.
One technician reported seeing a 400% increase in calls for board-up service over pre-pandemic levels.
Brian Perkins, owner of Perkins Glass on Capitol Hill, said that repair shops are slammed due to both a rise in vandalism and a shortage of skilled workers.
"Very common in the city of Seattle nowadays with all the break-ins, not only safety glass, but it’s a security glass as well," said Perkins. "There is no doubt that the vandalism in the city has gone through the roof and that has increased dramatically."
Perkins said the number of calls per day varies, but for the most part, they are booked up weekly with a backlog.
"We could get a jewelry store in Tacoma. There are days we won’t get off Capitol Hill because there is so much work on Capitol Hill," said Perkins. "Business has been crazy and not just for us here at Perkins Glass, [but] everyone in the glass industry and field here in Seattle, I think, has been overwhelmed."
Just this weekend, FOX 13 obtained security video from the owner of Pink Gorilla Games, showing a thief breaking into the business for the second time in just the past two weeks. The owner called Glass Doctor to help repair the broken glass.
Kristina DeFelice, the general manager of Glass Doctor of Western Washington, said her crews average around 15 to 18 board-ups a week. She went on to say that there is no such thing as a "bad neighborhood" anymore, adding that technicians are seeing the break-ins happening everywhere.
"It’s always a sad thing to come to someone’s business and see their property destroyed," said Perkins
Perkins said his business has also seen an uptick in calls for windows needing repairs that have bullet holes in them. Citywide, Seattle Police reported that so far this year, the calls regarding shots fired and shootings are up 54% over 2021.
"Not only is there a high volume of work, but there aren’t a whole bunch of people to go out and put the glass in," Perkins explained.