AUSTIN (KXAN) — When Skyla Lowery woke up this morning, she was shocked to see a neighbor driving away with a swastika painted on her car. The neighbor said someone had painted it overnight and she couldn’t get the paint off.
Austin police say the car was vandalized sometime Monday night into Tuesday morning as the car was parked in the 2900 block of Kinney Avenue in south Austin. The owner, Carolyn Soling, said she noticed it around 6:30 a.m. Soling filed a police report and then decided to drive to work regardless of the vandalism on her car.
“I left my job early this after noon at 2 p.m. so I would not have to sit in 4:30 traffic with a swastika on my car,” Soling said.
By the afternoon she’d had the swastika professionally removed. Soling believes this tagging was targeted.
“We’re in a fairly liberal Austin neighborhood and I believe one of our neighbors [did it],” Soling said. “I used to have my Hillary Clinton yard signs up even after the election and I believe it’s a neighbor that just disagreed with us politically. Instead of talking about it, they used to tear signs down, we would put them up outside and nothing happened for a couple months and then I was shocked to see a swastika. It was really sad.”
Soling was not the only person with a swastika on her car, however.
The news of the swastika quickly made its way to the neighborhood’s Nextdoor page where users reported seeing other vehicles vandalized with painted swastikas. In addition to Soling, KXAN spoke with two other victims.
Josh Meason said his car was tagged on Kinney Avenue near Lightsey Road.
Dallas Cain said his car was parked near South Ridge and Clawson Road overnight Monday, and Tuesday morning he found a pink swastika pained on it. Since he hasn’t been able to remove the paint, the Cain said he used a cardboard six-pack holder to cover the swastika as he drove around town Tuesday.
Cain noted the painting of the swastika was done in a haphazard way. “The person who did it probably didn’t go to painting school,” he laughed. But the swastika itself has him worried.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is awful,”‘ Cain said. “I was trying to think of why they’d do it to my car because nothing else in my area was marked up.”
“Part of me thinks it might be stupidity — someone looking for attention like a kid or something who doesn’t really know what that actually means,” Cain added. “Then there’s the other part of me that worries there might be someone with more malicious intent out there.”
Cain said he’d never seen any similar vandalism in his neighborhood before.
Police could only confirm one reported case on Kinney Avenue Tuesday and say they are still checking with patrol staff to see how many cases occurred overnight. Police encourage anyone else who may have been a victim of vandalism to file a report.
The Anti-Defamation League of Austin said Tuesday that they received a report of swastika vandalism in south Austin as well.