Restaurant Owner's Home Vandalized After Effort to Crack Down On Drugs

A restaurant owner wanted police in his town to crack down on drugs, drinking and loitering. Those police now find themselves investigating yet another instance of vandalism at that man's home.

Larry Berube circulated a petition last month asking town officials to take action. Shortly after, vandals targeted his Zoya's restaurant and his home. He's seen a broken a window at his house, a swastika on his wife's car window and on his cellar door, and slashed netting on his camper.

Police Chief Robert Wharem said his department is treating the instances as potential hate crimes.

Berube said the vandalism won't stop his campaign to reclaim his town, although he told selectmen at a recent meeting he doesn't feel comfortable there anymore.

"When you sleep in your bed with a gun at your side because you think something's going to happen to your family ... it's just wrong," he said.

He also has installed motion-sensitive security lights outside his house.

Wharem said his department is fighting drugs in town, but it's difficult because drug investigations are time-consuming and he doesn't have a special drug unit. Pittsfield is working with other local departments and on a new countywide task force to target drug use.