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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: vandalism

Dummy on noose shocks Vegas drivers

This image provided by KVVU-TV shows a billboard with a mannequin dangling from a hangman's noose near The Strip in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/KVVU, Peter Dawson)

By MICHELLE RINDELS,Associated Press
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Even by Las Vegas standards, it was a shocking billboard: A mannequin dangling on a hangman's noose below a black sign with the ominous words “Dying for Work.”

Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jeremie Elliott says the 911 calls started coming in as the sun came up early Wednesday, with drivers worried the stiff, black-suited dummy swaying at the end of a rope along Interstate 15 near Bonanza Road was a real person.

“It's a publicity stunt, obviously done in bad taste,” said Elliott, adding that officials were focused on getting it down quickly to avoid distracting drivers during the morning commute.

The graphic display along the interstate was one of at least two unauthorized signs spotted Wednesday morning in the Las Vegas area. Another found on Highland Avenue and Desert Inn Road was white with black lettering that read, “Hope You're Happy Wall St.,” and a similar mannequin hanging off the edge.

A woman who answered the phone at Lamar Advertising Co., which owns one of the billboards, labeled the act vandalism and said the display was being removed. She did not provide her name.

Clear Channel Outdoor, which owns another sign that was affected, said they pulled the display immediately and plan to work with law enforcement to punish whoever is responsible.

“We condemn the destructive behavior against one of our billboards because it is illegal and punishes our advertisers,” Clear Channel Outdoor spokesman Jim Cullinan said in a statement. “This is not an innocent protest, but it is illegal and dangerous behavior that Clear Channel Outdoor and the industry will not accept.”

Although the billboard alarmed drivers, it's unclear whether regulations in the area ban roadside signs with graphic depictions of suicide. A spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation said there didn't appear to be state regulations on the matter, and a spokeswoman for Clark County was also not aware of rules against the subject matter.

While nobody has publicly claimed responsibility for the signs, the Occupy Las Vegas group, which is affiliated with the larger Occupy Wall Street movement, posted photos of the displays on its website. Its caption says the Nevada governor's budget has slashed social programs and aid to suicidal adults.

Sebring Frehner, an Occupy supporter who posted the photos, told The Associated Press he didn't know who put the hangmen up, but applauded the message behind it.

“People saying it's in bad taste are living sheltered lives and don't pay attention to what affects the working class,” he said.

Killer in hotel trashing left prison in ‘11

A convicted killer accused of trashing a Spokane Valley motel while celebrating he and his wife's anniversary was released from prison just 15 months ago.

Danial Caleb Peters, 38, murdered Melissa Mae Wageman, 40, on  Dec. 22, 1995, after smoking crack cocaine. He told police he didn't member beating the woman to death with 4-foot pipe but awoke to find her bloody body nearby.

The circumstances are similar to what Peters' public defender, Mike Elston, said apparently happened Tuesday night at the Pheasant Hill Inn, 12415 E. Mission Ave., in Spokane Valley.

Peters “claims a drug-educed paranoid episode” led to him destroying the room he and his wife, Danielle Lea Wozniak, 27, returned to celebrate their one-year anniversary, Elston said Thursday at Peters' appearance in Spokane County Superior Court.

Wozniak told police Peters destroyed the room after they used methamphetamine.

“I want everybody to know that I'm very sorry for the drug use that I did,” Wozniak said in court Thursday.

Peters told police “that he felt people were after him” and broke a water sprinkler in an attempt to get help, according to court documents.

He said Wozniak destroyed other items like a mirrors, lamps, air conditioner and phone, but Wozniak said it was Peters. Police responded about 6 a.m. and say the duo caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the hotel, which had recently been renovated.

Water damage from the sprinklers means only 28 of the hotel’s 104 rooms usable. Peters and Wozniak were booked into jail on a felony charge of first-degree malicious mischief. They married in March, Wozniak said.

Wozniak's criminal history includes a single misdemeanor conviction two years ago. Judge Annette Plese ordered her to stay in jail unless she posts $2,500 bond.

Plese set Peters' bond at $5,000 and told him she had “really serious concerns about your criminal history.”

Peters said he has a “very good job” at a construction company that was set up through a church.
The couple was staying with Peters' mother, according to court testimony, but she told court officials they are no longer allowed there.

Peters was sentenced to 17 years in prison in February 1996, but his conviction and scores of others were overturned in 2004 because the Washington Supreme Court ruled the second-degree murder law was defective. He was re-sentenced in 2005.

Wageman met up with Peters while celebrating her 40th birthday at the Happy Time Tavern, 3506 N. Division St. She was killed at a nearby home where Peters had been staying with his his older gay lover after smoking marijuana and crack cocaine. Peters then used his lover's truck to take Wageman’s body to a friend’s house in Stevens County. Upon arrival, the friend handed Peters a phone so he could turn himself in.

Peters didn't deny killing Wageman but said he didn't remember doing so. Wageman was a single mother who was raising a son who, at the time, was an honor student and musician at Shadle Park High School.

Peters finished his sentence at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla in January 2011 and still is completing his two-year probation term, according to the Washington Department of Corrections.
  

Geiger inmates clean Rockford park

Inmates at Geiger Corrections Center helped clean up thousands of dollars worth of damage to the city park in Rockford recently.

Three young teens have been charged as juveniles with the vandalism, which was reported May 21. Another boy is facing a trespassing charge.

The vandals damaged the Lyon's Club picnic shelter, fair building and “nearly every other structure and fixture within the park,” according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

Seven inmates from Geiger spent about 6 1/2 hours cleaning the park last Thursday.

“The Geiger Inmate Work Crew Program performs manual and skilled labor such as clean up, litter pick up, graffiti removal, forestry work, limited maintenance and other projects for non-profit and government agencies related to public health, safety and welfare,” according to a news release.
  

Graffiti suspect caught blue-handed

A man suspected of spray panting graffiti on more than 30 locations in downtown Spokane was arrested Tuesday. 

Brad Ruble, 28, was booked into jail for malicious mischief after Neighborhood Resource Officer Tim Ottmar arrested him downtown, according to the Spokane Police Department.

Ruble's fingers were blue when police contacted him - the same color of the paint used to put hearts on the locations.

Another suspected graffiti tagger, Lance Perkins, 25, was arrested in March for allegedly spray painting '57' on numerous locations.

57 refers to Perkins' initials 'LP' on a cellphone keypad, according to court documents.

Tips sought on coffee shop vandal

 The Spokane County Sheriff's Office is asking for help identifying two men involved in the vandalism of a Spokane Valley coffee shop.

Surveillance video shows two men walk in front of the Whistle Shop coffee stand in the 16900 block of East Sprague Avenue on April 2.

One of the men threw a large rock through a window, which smashed not only the window but destroyed a granita machine inside the coffee stand.

View the video here.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Tips sought on Valley school break-in

Police are looking for information on a vandalism and attempted theft at a Spokane Valley elementary school early Saturday.

Officers responded to an alarm at Greenacres Elementary School in the 17915 E. Fourth St. about 2:57 a.m.

They arrived to find a window pried out o the wall on the east side of the school. A projector mounted on a classroom ceiling was hanging by wires.

Officer set up a perimeter and called in a police dog, but officer did not locate a suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Tips sought on CdA flower pot vandals

 A vandal caught on tape in Coeur d'Alene is now the target of a Crime Stoppers reward.

Surveillance video shows the man grab flowers in large pots in front of a home decor store at 513 E. Sherman Ave., then tug on the flowers until the pots fall over and shatter.

The vandal's female companion is seen laughing at the damages.

Anyone with information on their identities is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or submit tips online.

Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Tire slashing halts police pursuit training

A vandal slashed tires on six sheriff's patrol cars used for pursuit training, officials said today.

Sheriff's employees arrived at the Spokane County Raceway Park Tuesday to find all 24 tires slashed and flat. The vandal also stole six mounted tires meant to cover flats incur during training.

“A sheriff’s fleet services spokesman estimated the cost to replace the 30 tires at about $3,000, but that loss doesn’t include the time the 20 or so students lost when they had to end their training day five hours early,” Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release.

The cars were at the raceway so that students could practice pursuit immobilization techniques,, pursuits, spike strip placement and backing maneuvers.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that solve the crime. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submit tips online.

Police seek suspect w/ ‘too much time’

Here's a news release from Sgt. Dave Reagan:

A pair of Spokane Valley businesses suffered damaged offices over the weekend when someone with a pocketful of rocks and too much time on his hands broke numerous windows. 

Employees of Schindler Elevator and Tuff Sheds, both located in the 400 block of North Thierman, found windows damaged Sunday morning.

The elevator firm suffered a shattered front window and shattered glass in the entry door. 

Tuff Shed suffered shattered glass in the office door, as well as numerous broken windows in sheds on display at the location.

In neither instance did the suspect make entry into the buildings.  Anyone with information regarding these acts of vandalism is encouraged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Reward for tips on ‘smoke weed’ graffiti

A reward is being offered for tips that lead to the arrests of those responsible for vandalizing an upscale subdivision in Coeur d'Alene.

Marijuana references, curse words and other vandalism were spray painted on fences and rocket features near North Atlas Road and West Newbrook Drive. The damage was discovered Wednesday.

The Landings Homeowners Association is offering the reward through Crime Stoppers. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (208) 667-2111 or toll-free at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Tipsters do not have to give their name but should leave a code name or number.

‘Lawn order’ vandals damage school

Authorities say vandals broke 80 sprinkler heads off the irrigation system at Trentwood Elementary School, 14701 E. Wellesley Ave., sometime during the weekend.

The vandals had “no respect for lawn order,” Spokane Valley police spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a news release.

An employee told Crime Check the vandalism took place sometime between 3 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday, Reagan said. Damage was limited to the front of the school.

School officials estimate the loss at about $1,000, he said.

Anyone with information regarding the act of malicious mischief is encouraged to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Cheaper paint offered to combat graffit

The Spokane Police Department has introduced a new method for combating graffiti: cheap paint to cover it.

Police are partnering with local paint stores to offer discounts for citizens whose property has been vandalized.

Citizens with 10-day notices from the city to remove graffiti from their property can get a 35 percent discount on “selected paint products” at  local Miller Paint, Columbia Paint and Sherwin Williams Paint  stores, according to a news release by Officer Jennifer DeRuwe.

The discount is available for 10 days from the date of the notice.

Police say local graffiti costs residents thousands each year to cover up.
  

Reward for tips on taco stand vandalism

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to the arrest of those responsible for vandalizing a Coeur d'Alene taco stand.

The owner of Tacos Los Panchos in Coeur d'Alene discovered the trailer's power line, propane line and heater line severed when he arrived for work about 8:30 a.m. Feb. 11.

The taco stand also was burglarized Dec. 6, some time after 6:30 p.m. Someone pried open the trailer's main door and stole cash, laptop computer, an MP3 player and DVD player.

Anyone with information on the crimes is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (208) 667-2111 or 1-800-222-TIPS. Tipsters do not have to use their name to collect a reward.

The stand also has recently been picketed by white supremacists.

Tips sought on graffiti vandals in CdA

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that help solve three graffiti cases in Coeur d’Alene. 

Surveillance photos from the Pita Pit, 320 E. Sherman Ave., show three men spray painting the back door area of the store on Oct. 14 at 2:36 a.m.

Then sometime between Oct. 20 and Oct. 21, someone spray painted the brick walls and basalt columns at the Fallen Heroes Plaza in Cherry Hill Park. Also, the water tower on Tubbs Hill was spray painted between Oct. 14 and Oct. 21.

Police don’t know if the cases are related.

Anyone with information on the culprits is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (208) 667-2111 or toll free at (888) 667-2111.

Pellet gun shootings, vandalism on the rise

A rash of vandalism in Spokane has involved people wielding BB and pellet guns, and police say they’re taking the problem seriously.

 From about Aug. 18 through the end of the month, the Spokane Police Department saw a surge in cases of malicious mischief – property damage in which the vandal does not enter a home or business. During an average week, police see 40 to 50 incidents of malicious mischief; in the last couple of weeks in August, there were more than 100 incidents per week, and 70 percent or more were caused by BB or pellet guns, said Tom Michaud, a crime analyst for the police department.

Read Asia Hege’s full story here.

Valley synagogue vandalized with swastika

A swastika was painted on a sign outside a Spokane Valley synagogue last weekend.

The congregational leader at the Kehilat HaMashiach, David D’Auria, discovered the swastika painted in red on a white sign Sunday morning outside the building at 13506 E. Broadway Ave.

The vandal, or vandals, left “no discernible evidence at the scene,” said Sgt. Dave Reagan, spokesman for the Spokane Valley Police Department.

“I was really shocked,” D’Auria said.

It was painted between 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Saturday, D’Auria said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Cops arrest ‘Megazord’ tag suspect, again

Police rearrested an alleged graffiti artist this week on felony charges after a judge allowed him to leave jail on misdemeanor counts of malicious mischief.

Zakk M. Holder, 21, was ordered held in Spokane County Jail on $5,000 bail after appearing before Superior Court Judge Michael Price Thursday on second-degree burglary and malicious mischief charges.

His public defender, Steven Reich, said the charges are for the same graffiti allegations Holder for which Holder was already arrested Monday.

“I think the police were upset that he was released,” Reich said.

Police say Holder prides himself on tagging “Megazord” on downtown buildings and is suspected in a string of graffiti tags. They say he’s caused thousands of dollars in damage over the last four years.

This week, downtown employees spotted Holder tagging the Cathedral Plaza Apartments, then damaging a soap dispenser in a bathroom at Riverfront Park, where he’d been banned from going for a year.  He’s also suspected of tagging a Spokesman-Review building at 1023 W. Riverside Ave.

Holder told police his nickname is Megazord but denied tagging graffiti, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police say Holder’s cell phone’s wall paper was picture of a Megazord tag.

Police ask anyone who feels they’ve been victimized to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Man accused of ‘Megazord’ graffiti spree

A 21-year-old man police say prides himself on tagging “Megazord” on downtown buildings is suspected of a string of graffiti tags, Spokane police announced Tuesday.

Officer Shaney Redmon is looking for people who think they have been victimized by alleged graffiti artist Zakk M. Holder.

Holder was arrested Monday after 5 p.m. on a misdemeanor malicious mischief, but police believe he’s responsible for thousands of dollars worth of damage to downtown businesses over the last four years. 

“He concentrates on buildings, structures, dumpsters, windows, any piece of property located in the downtown corridor,” according to a news release. “Holder spray paints “Megazord” or “OSN” or “MZ” in different variations.”

Anyone who thinks they may have been victimized by Holder is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Shock: Downtown duck’s nest raided

Someone or something raided a mama duck’s nest in downtown Spokane on Friday and made off with four of her six eggs.

Several tulips that had sheltered the duck in a planter in front of the Lincoln Building were ripped from the flower bed and feathers were strewn about.

Gary Grissom, a loan officer with Academy Mortgage who has been monitoring the duck’s nest, was devastated. The attack was sudden, he said, and not what he expected.

In an e-mail titled “Something terrible happened!!!” Grissom wrote, “I have no idea what happened, but it may be over now…..” The loan officer added, “I am so sick about it.”

Read the rest of Jody Lawrence-Turner’s story here.

Past coverage: Duck rescuer’s celebrity lives on

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