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Woman claims porcelain cracked rear window; believes she was targeted

By Andrew Adams | Posted - Apr 3rd, 2013 @ 7:01pm

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PROVO — A Provo woman wants to warn others and she wants justice, after what she described as a "scary" encounter on the road in Provo. Somebody blew out her back windshield and may have used something more commonly associated with pottery: porcelain.

April Kirtland said she was traveling with her husband and three children south on University Avenue on Mar. 24. Near 3300 North at around 10:00 p.m., she said a black SUV began to trail closely in the car's blind spot. Moments later, Kirtland said, she heard a loud crash coming from the rear of the car.

"Seriously, it sounded just like somebody had — standing next to my car — had taken a boulder and just thrown it with everything they had," Kirtland said.

About that time, Kirtland said the SUV sped ahead and her rear windshield began to show the signs of an impact.

"I began to hear loud crackling noises and as I looked closer and there were more lights down the road, I saw that there was a giant crack in the windshield," she said. "Before my eyes (the window) started to micro-shatter everywhere."

A common tool for vehicle burglaries has been what's called 'ninja rocks' which are made out of porcelain.

–Chris Chambers, Provo Police Department

Within minutes, the glass was cracked everywhere. Pieces started to fall away, revealing a giant hole. Kirtland said she feared for her children. They had been resting in the back seat.

"If it had hit one of my side windows, my son was sitting right there, and then the infant and then my daughter," Kirtland explained. "If it had blown out that window, they would have been covered in glass, they probably all would have had their faces cut up, it could have been a lot more serious."

Provo Police Officer Chris Chambers said Wednesday investigators still weren't entirely certain how things transpired. Kirtland said the responding officer suggested someone in the black SUV could have thrown a spark plug or a piece of porcelain at the windshield.

While police said it has been rarely if ever used in that circumstance, porcelain is routinely used in another set of vehicle crimes.

"A common tool for vehicle burglaries has been what's called ‘ninja rocks' which are made out of porcelain," Chambers said.

A number of YouTube videos demonstrate the effectiveness of porcelain slicing through tempered glass.

Still, Chambers said it would be difficult to throw anything from one moving car to another with much precision, also raising questions about whether and how porcelain or some other hard substance was used.

Kirtland, who has since had the rear windshield replaced, maintains her family was targeted and she'd like to see those responsible caught.

"That could have been very disastrous, so I don't know, I just hope that this doesn't happen anymore," she said. "It was really terrible."

Chambers said people with information about the incident — or those who believe they witnessed it — are asked to call Provo Police at 801-852-6210.


Andrew Adams

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Updated: Wednesday July 18, 2018 6:38 am