Vandals destroy businessman’s attempt to spruce up Clay

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2000

Jamie Jabour stands outside his business Tuesday viewing damage done by vandals. (The Vicksburg Post/ROB MAXWELL)

Vandals destroyed two plants and planters at a Clay Street business Tuesday, the day after a plan by Vicksburg officials to spend $5,000 for trees along the street was reported.

Jamie Jabour, owner of Jabour’s Upholstery at 1120 Clay, discovered the damage when he arrived at his store. The concrete planters were broken, and shards were scattered along the sidewalk. The 2-foot cedar trees that had adorned the shop’s entrance for three years were left among the fragments.

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“I just thought it was ironic with the city planning to plant trees along the street,” Jabour said.

City landscaper Jeff Richardson said vandalism is an unfortunate aspect of his work. Damage to city-funded projects have included stolen flags, rose bushes being pulled up and broken tree branches, he said.

“It’s unfortunate that here we have a private business owner trying to beautify his place and another citizen is tearing it up,” Richardson said.

Jabour said it was not the first time vandals have hit his property. Earlier, two planters that had belonged to his grandfather were stolen from the business, Jabour said.

During his 16 years on Clay Street, Jabour has made other efforts to improve the appearance of the building. He has painted the building and rebuilt the parking lot.

Whether he’ll try to add some greenery is something he said he had not decided Tuesday. “It doesn’t really give you a burning desire to go out and get some more,” Jabour said.

Vicksburg Police Chief Mitchell Dent said acts of vandalism are spontaneous crimes of opportunity and hard to predict. He said there was no way to predict when or where they were going to happen.

“I really don’t know what they can do,” Jabour said of the police. “They can’t put a camera on every corner.”

No numbers were available on vandalism within the city, but Dent advised against publicizing it.

“When one act of vandalism gets press, it spurs others like it,” Dent said.

The city’s plan, as reported Monday, is to plant 58 trees along Clay Street between Adams and Washington streets beginning in the fall. It is being funded by a grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation.

Jabour’s Upholstery is one block east of Adams Street.