Police offering reward for apprehension of vandals

by Jim Boyle

The Elk River Police Department is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of individuals responsible for a rash of vandalism reports.

There were about two dozen criminal damage to property reports taken on the east side of Elk River during a three day period from July 3 through July 6. More have been lodged since, according to Elk River Police Capt. Bob Kluntz.

“We’re starting to see some thefts, too,” Kluntz said.

The crimes have included incidences of swimming pools being slashed and punctured. Motor vehicles, mailboxes and trampolines have also been targets. Some complainants have reported their yards have been driven through and damaged.

The damage done to one pool took away a whole summer of fun for two families — each with three girls. It looks like a screwdriver was used to puncture a temporary pool. There were also a series of large slashes made, according to the victim, who asked to remain anonymous.

“It’s frustrating and angering,” the homeowner said. “I don’t get it. Anything I remember doing as a kid didn’t involve destruction of property. That crosses a line.”

Among the blocks to have been hit include:

•18000 block of Trout Brook Parkway

•19000 block of Trout Brook Parkway

•10000 block of 183rd Avenue

•11000 block of 196th Avenue

•11000 block of 196th Circle

•11000 block of 192nd Court

•10000 block of 192nd Avenue

•19000 block of Xavier Street

•18000 block of Monroe Court

•11000 191st Avenue

The incidents are happening overnight and police suspect that young  people out past curfew are committing the crimes.

“This is a high priority situation for us, and we are taking extra measures to combat the problem,” Kluntz said.  “Residents need to call 911 immediately if they see anything suspicious in their neighborhood. Don’t wait until the next morning to call us.”

Elk River police are also suggesting residents leave some outside lights on and avoid parking vehicles in the street if at all possible.

Kluntz said police  have made some curfew arrests and other minor arrests in the area, but nothing directly related to these cases.