Vandal Strikes Mall

Broken Windows, Damage


Last updated 4/1/2022 at 10:10am

John Benjamin Greenwood

Shop owners, residents and visitors were in a state of shock, after seeing multiple businesses at The Mall and The Center vandalized on the morning of March 14.

From broken windows, signs destroyed and property in disarray, it was a sight to see.

The suspect has been identified as John Benjamin Greenwood, who is said to frequently return to Borrego after being arrested because "the people give him money, and the food bank is great." The individual was apprehended the same day by the Borrego Springs Sheriff's department. A restraining order will be filed on Greenwood, who will be served while he is still in custody.

The amount of damage has not been assessed yet, according to Mall and Center Owner Jim Wermers.

"It's really a shame that this person damaged these places that are so important to our town, but despite that, I do feel sorry for him," he said.

Wermers acknowledges the community's help with trying to put ply wood on the broken windows until it was too dark to see, and the store owners who have been "very cooperative and helpful." John Peterson was kind enough to go to Home Depot to purchase the lumber for the work.

In terms of the Food Bank, which offers assistance to many, residents and visitors, it has been said that if Greenwood returns to Borrego Springs, he must be denied service, especially if he is on the property after the restraining order is granted. As harsh as this may be, "we need to protect ourselves and other tenants."

This incident adds to the list of recent incidents in Borrego Springs – break-ins and theft at Roadrunner Club, along with vandalization and theft at the Borrego Springs Unified School District. Many are beginning to wonder, "what is happening to our quaint town of Borrego Springs?" and "what are people going to do about it?"

Wermers added, "It is going to cost a lot of money, which is scarce in Borrego, but let's put it back together."

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