Vandalism, arson plague Rockwall apartment complex

Residents of a Rockwall apartment complex met with police and investigators after racist and offensive vandalism began showing up on buildings.

Over the past weeks, people who live at Rockwall Commons have been dealing with hateful messages and swastikas painted on walls. Someone even threw a gas can down a trash chute.

But after a meeting with police and the fire chief on Tuesday, residents learned they now have new management and better security.

“We're going to do whatever we can obviously to catch whoever is doing this — whether it's one or two suspects — and bring them to justice,” said Rockwall Police Chief Kirk Riggs.

Resident Taylor Moore says she is at a loss for words after seeing phrases like “white power” spray painted in an elevator at her apartment complex.

“The kids seen that. A young African American kid seeing that,” she said. “It's like what if I were to run into these people? What are they carrying?”

Arson signs are now up around the complex after someone set an elevator on fire and poured gasoline down the trash chute. Frustrated residents feel the previous apartment management should've done more to alert residents.

“They only stepped up when the fire department got notified when they poured the gas down the shoot. That's the only time.”

New management is already making changes. The first of 22 security cameras were installed Monday, and security has been hired to patrol in and outside the building.

“I saw them putting those up yesterday, so I kind of smiled. I was glad about that,” said resident Karen Duckworth. “If they can clean it up, that's what we want. That's all we want — to be safe in our environment.”

But with the person or persons responsible still out there, police are asking residents to keep their guard up.

“We need your help,” Chief Griggs told residents. “We're continuing to do what we can on our end, but you all are the eyes and ears that really help us solve crimes.”

The fire in the elevator caused about $3,000 worth of damage. Management says in addition to roving security, a courtesy patrol officer will be moving into the complex within a couple of weeks.

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