Austin woman believes vandals targeted her for taking stand against crime

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman whose car was badly damaged by vandals believes she was targeted because of her stand against crime in the Austin neighborhood.

The woman has a disability and she's often in pain, but what pains her more is the crime in her community. It's what she's been fighting against for years and now, she believes it's making her a target.

Eyewitness News protected the identity of the 64-year-old woman for her safety.
After giving so much over the decades to the Austin community, her blue Ford Taurus splattered with red paint in return. Her car was the only one on the block vandalized and she believes they targeted her for a reason.

"I do a lot of little things, trying to make the community better. The thing I have been doing since November is putting our signs in our community," she explained.

Those signs spread peace in a neighborhood that is all too familiar with crime.

"The signs are to tell our community that we need to pray to make the things in our community that shouldn't be happening. We need to pray against to fight against them," she said.

On a fixed income, she's been paying for the signs with her own money with some help from her church.

"I'm doing all this in a personal way. I print out sheets of paper and tape the paper together. And then when I have money I take them to Office Depot and they laminate them," she said.

Neighbors are taking notice.

"She said the drug dealers on the corner have stopped because you always have one of those signs there," she said.

"I think she's a very caring person. She's always trying to do something to help people," a neighbor said.

Although she's worried about what could happen next, she's promising to not switch gears.

"I'm going to pray more and keep working. I'm upset because I'm a woman and by myself a lot. Every time I think I am by myself, I remember, no I am not, God is here," she said.

She did call police and was able to get the paint off her car. Before this incident she says she never had any problems in the neighborhood, but she believes this is proof the work she's doing is needed.
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