Several Hillcrest business owners say their storefront windows were shot at with what seems to be a BB gun, leaving some to believe vandals are attempting to send a message less than 10 days before San Diego Pride.
According to the owners, the vandals struck between Monday and Wednesday. The Glass Corner Cafe on University Avenue and Richmond Street was the first place damaged.
The café had one of its plate glass windows shattered just one week after its grand opening. And since Thursday was a holiday, a replacement will have to wait.
Passersby can see the safety glass spiderwebbed in the lower right-hand corner.
The cafe may have been the first target, but it was not the last business vandalized in the 10-block section of University Avenue.
A print shop just a few blocks west was hit. Plywood now replaces the damaged front window.
Nine blocks east, the glass doors of a scooter shop were damaged and were also temporarily replaced with plywood.
Police say they are only investigating the vandalism at the scooter shop because it's the only complaint they've received so far.
While investigators are not connecting these crimes, the victims are definitely talking.
Cafe owner Samir Hanoosh and others fear these are hate crimes designed to intimidate those intending to visit or participate in the Pride Festival.
The event is in just nine days. There are signs and posters all over Hillcrest promoting it.
“If it was an intentional crime, if it was a hate crime, it's sad. I think people should be left alone and just let them live their lives. It is what it is. You live yours, let them live theirs,” Hanoosh said.
Another restaurant owner just across the street told NBC 7 the acts of vandalism are intimidating to her.
She planned Pride Fest specials and promotions but is backing off, fearing her shop may be the one shot up next.
Much of the damage is out-of-pocket for these shop owners. Such window repairs can cost up to $2,000 but we're told it's still less than their deductible.