Raising money on Main for St. Paddy’s Day vandalism repairs

One week ago, Matthew Kriebel arrived at his Main Street storefront in Manayunk to find a pile of broken glass and a 3-foot-wide hole in one of his display windows.

It was the morning after St. Patrick’s Day, and it was a first for Spectrum Scientifics, which had been spared any major vandalism in its previous three years on Main Street.

The outer pane of the double-paned window was the only glass damaged, so nothing inside the store was exposed or stolen. Nonetheless, the damage came as a shock to Kriebel.

“I was just kind of distraught by the callousness of it,” Kriebel said. “I understand burglary, I hate to say it, but this was just total carelessness.”

Kriebel’s best guess is that someone shoved a friend into the window late that night and simply laughed it off while stumbling home.

As someone who, as a kid, broke a window playing football, Kriebel says he understands that mistakes happen, but says it’s how you react that matters.

“We took responsibility and we paid for it, that’s just what happens,” he said. “If you drink a lot and have a good time and you break a window, guess what, that’s really something you have to take responsibility for.”

The offender has yet to fess up for last week’s incident, and there are no nearby security cameras that could have caught the crime on tape.

Kriebel estimates it’ll cost about $2,000 to replace the 22 square-foot window and replace the graphics.

He joked that he would have rather had someone break in through the door and steal a few things than to shatter the window.

“The window costs more than anything in that display right now,” he said with a laugh.

A sign is posted in the window asking for people to help pay for the repair by stopping in to buy some science toys and gifts inside. He says the community has been supportive but adds that there’s only so much they can do to help.

“I’ve never seen anything like this whatsoever, and I’ve been through two or three St. Paddy’s Days here,” Kriebel said. “I just hope that people take responsibility for their actions.”

Anyone with more information is asked to call 215-667-8309.

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