Victory Drive business suffers vandalism, repeated arson - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Victory Drive business suffers vandalism, repeated arson

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Columbus mobile home dealer said neighborhood children frequently vandalize their property, sometimes playing around in the empty houses, sometimes breaking the windows, but recently, the issue has reached a much more serious level.

"More often, we catch them throwing stones. That seems to be a regular, weekly thing. They come over here, and we're just trying to keep them from damaging and destroying homes.  They're not homes to play in, they are for sale," said Sharon Snapp. 

She said the owner purposely positioned two trailers up against a hole in the fence of nearby apartments to discourage young people from sneaking through, but now both trailers have burned to the ground. She describes what happened Monday afternoon, June 9.

"We had a young lady come into the building, and say the home was on fire, and I called 911," recalled Snapp. "It looked like it was fully ablaze. The smoke was just as black as can be. It had been going at least a little while because it was full blown."

She recalls another time when a customer was planning to buy a renovated mobile home. Two days away from the final transaction, someone set fire to it. The fire was equally as bad for the customer as for the business, because that person was depending on buying a used home at a certain price that she couldn't find anywhere else.

Beyond the threat to their livelihood, the owners of Preferred Home Center want the fires to stop because the flames may easily spread to occupied apartments that are only a short distance from the lot.

As they do for all unsolved arsons, the state is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading authorities to those responsible.

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