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'Unthinkable act': King Family Vineyards vandalized

Albemarle County police are asking for the public’s assistance to identify the vandal who destroyed multiple glass windows and doors at a popular Crozet winery.

King Family Vineyards reported on Nov. 17 that staff found the windows and doors of the winery’s tasting rooms had been shattered overnight, some time between 1 and 1:30 a.m.

The vineyard and winery grounds are not only home to grape fields, production facilities, tasting rooms, stables and polo grounds but also the residences of several of the King family members who own and operate the winery.

“This unthinkable act has not only left physical damage, but has emotionally shaken our family and team,” the winery posted in a Facebook statement. “We never imagined such a crime would strike so close to home.”

King Family Vineyards is offering a reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the apprehension of the suspect. The winery has also been circulating photos of the damage as well as a grainy, black and white still from a surveillance camera showing someone wearing what appears to be a ski mask on grounds at the time of the crime.

“Standing true to our principles here at King Family Vineyards, we know community has strength in numbers — now more than ever, we need your help. We’re seeking any clues or information related to this incident and offering a reward of $10,000 to anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual responsible.”

The winery has asked nearby residents and business owners within a 1-mile radius that have surveillance cameras of their own to scan their footage between the hours of 12 and 2 a.m. Nov. 17.

“Any footage of individuals or vehicles during the above time frame could be vital to the conclusion of this investigation,” the winery said in its post.

The crime was reported to the police, who told The Daily Progress Saturday that an investigation has been opened but there is no additional information yet available.

“There’s no update at this point,” Abbey Stumpf, a county police spokeswoman, said.

Those with any information on the incident can contact the police department through two primary means, she said.

“You can call the main ACPD number and ask for the criminal investigations division or you can go through Crime Stoppers,” she said.

The criminal investigations team can be contacted at (434) 296-5807. The anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line can be reached at (434) 977-4000 or crimestoppers@albemarle.org.

King Family Vineyards remains open, a tasting room employee told The Daily Progress Saturday, and it will continue to operate with normal hours.

“Please share this message far and wide,” King Family said in its original Facebook post. “Together, we can bring this perpetrator to justice, restore our family’s peace, and reinforce the strong bonds that hold our community together.”

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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