SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Vandalism is on the rise in Springfield. Springfield Police Department has been getting reports of smashed car windows and doors pried open across town— but the most reports stem from central Springfield.

Near downtown, one woman returned to her car to find her window smashed and someone going through her things.

Kate Tarrant was getting ready to teach a class at Red Moon Dance Studio on Tuesday, May 14. .

“It was not quite one in the afternoon,” Tarrant said. “I was here by myself.”

She thought she heard the closing of a car door and somebody coming inside. Instead she found somebody breaking into her car.

“The alarm on my car went off, so I stepped outside the door and the guy had busted out my driver’s side window and was in my car rifling through the console in the middle,” Tarrant said. “I’ve only had this car for six months, so when I walked out of the door and saw somebody in my car, I just kind of flipped out a little bit.”

Tarrant said a rock was used to break into the car, running away once Tarrant found him.

“He just took off across the field up in there, and so I called the cops,” Tarrant said. “They went all around and tried to find him. But unfortunately, there’s a lot of places to hide around here.”

Springfield Police said it received 67 reports of vandalism between May 3 and May 17. Most of the reports came from the area around downtown.

“We have identified vandalism and graffiti from May 3rd to the 17th as a crime that is happening more often than other crimes that we wanted to bring to the public’s attention,” SPD Public Affairs Officer Cris Swaters said. “We’ve seen lately it’s been damaged vehicle windows, smashed windows or commercial properties where doors look like they’ve been cut a crowbar to open or damaged.”

SPD also received one report of graffiti, which it says is separate from vandalism.

“Vandalism is an action involving the deliberate destruction or damage to destruction of or damage to public or private property,” Swaters said. “Graffiti is drawing, writing on something, whereas vandalism is more intent or actual destruction of property.”

“It cost me about 200 dollars to get the window replaced, and I haven’t even priced yet to see what it’s going to cost to get the trim plate replaced,” Tarrant said.

SPD said people should check in and around their cars and homes often to ensure nothing has gone missing.

“If you notice something out of place, something broken that you’re not sure how it happened, look around and see if there’s any other instances of that same type of vandalism,” Swaters said.

Tarrant said from now on she plans to be more cautious to ensure something like this doesn’t happen to her again.

If you’ve been a victim of a car break-in or vandalism you can file a report on the city’s website, or call 911.