MARTINEZ, Calif. - A store owner says he was heartbroken to start the New Year cleaning up damage by a vandal who attached an explosive to the store window in Martinez and then sped away as the explosion blasted a hole in the glass.
Steve Lipary says has been in business 28 years and the LC Galleries sports and celebrity memorabilia shop has never had an attack like the one Friday. He says friends called him with the news.
"They called me and said there was a hole in my window so I assumed it was a rock or something," said Lipary.
When he arrived and checked his store surveillance video, he says he saw something more bizarre.
About 5:30 a.m. by the security camera's clock, a motorcycle rider passes by and then circles back around, making straight for Lipary's LC Galleries storefront.
The rider looks around and then pulls something out and begins taping it to the store window. Cameras inside show the rider lighting a fuse and then speeding away. Ten seconds later there's an explosion, blasting a hole in the window. The smoke outside drifting over the camera.
Lipary says he spent his New Year's Day cleaning up the mess.
"There was glass on my chairs, there was glass back here, there was glass on this desk," said Lipary.
He says glass shards also damaged the frames on some original artwork.
"Just kind of heartbroken to be honest with you. It was hard cause, like I said it's been a tough year. Here we are, I've been down here. I'm a nice guy. I been here a long time. I donate you know, try to treat people the way I'd want to be treated. And be kind to everyone and then a senseless act like this happens," said Lipary.
Martinez police say an patrol officer first noticed the damage at 7:10 in the morning.
Investigators found no remnants of plastic or metal that would indicate a bomb. They believe it was fireworks and say a trace on the license plate showed the motorcycle was stolen from Pleasant Hill.
Gwendolyn Monroe is operations manager for the Attic Child furniture store next door and says she's seen the motorcycle rider about a half a dozen times in the past two months.
"Early in the morning, like 4-5 in the morning and he uses the street like his own little dirt bike track," said Monroe.
Nearby business owners say the attack stings, coming after a string of break-ins last spring.
"I don't know why people would target small business, because we're just trying to get by. We're just trying to make it," said Monroe.
"It's just unfortunate. It's New Year's Day. I was hoping for a good year. 2020 was rough all the businesses here. We've had a hard time," said Lipary.
Police say the motorcycle rider appeared to be wearing gloves, so they found no fingerprints.
Investigators hope anyone who recognizes the suspect or motorcycle, or has more surveillance video will call Martinez police, so they can try to find the vandal.
Jana Katsuyama is a reporter for KTVU. Email Jana at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @JanaKTVU or Facebook @NewsJana or ktvu.com.