Vandalism to a local small business along with construction machinery was reported on Sunday evening to the Washington Court House Police Department.
The location of the vandalism, according to a police report, was 322 W. Temple St. in Washington C.H. The small business was Woody’s U-Lock It, which rents out storage spaces.
The police report explains that the lock on locker number 39 in the storage facility had been cut and that locker number 84 had been broken into, in which a can of green spray paint had been located and stolen from.
That paint was used on lockers 77-85 to spell out an expletive on the doors.
According to the owner of the storage facility, Christie Edwards, there appeared to be nothing stolen.
Of the two broken-into units, only one tenant has been contacted so far. The other tenant has a phone number that has been disconnected and has not updated the facility with their new contact information.
Christie estimated that the damage to the storage facility would cost approximately $1-2,000 to repair.
The paint was then used on the near-by construction machinery, according to the report and Josh Edwards. Josh is acting as the project manager for Shelly and Sands Inc. for the current construction project on the Temple Street Bridge, which is located beside the storage facility. Josh is also Christie’s spouse.
“It’s kind of a strange deal that I’m here working on the project, and she owns the storage units that are right there,” said Josh.
Josh said those who vandalized spray painted the inside of a bulldozer along with its screen, spray painted the outside of it, threw a piece of concrete through one of its windows, and threw rocks through its other window, shattering it.
Also vandalized was a Skyjack Man Lift. Not only were oil filters, fuel caps and oil caps removed, but the hydraulic hoses from the lift were removed.
“They’re just gone. I don’t know if they threw them into the creek or what,” said Josh.
Due to the vandalism on the skyjack, it is unable to be removed from the site.
The cost to repair the machinery will have to come from its owner, the Shelly and Sands company, although Josh estimates the damage to be approximately $10,000. Josh further explained there had been a water cooler on-site used to store ice and water for the workers that was thrown into the creek.
The cooler wasn’t the only item found in the creek, as a paint can suspected of being used in the vandalism was also found in the water near the skyjack, according to the report.
“It’s something I don’t understand. They didn’t steal anything. It was straight vandalism — like they just did it to ruin things, and I don’t understand that,” said Josh.
According to Christie, the paint appears to be oil-based which is hard to clean. She explained she would need to paint over the markings on the storage doors as a power washer could not remove it.
“To me, it seems like it has to be a teenager because any grown adult, I would imagine, would have enough decency about them to not randomly vandalize businesses and things like this just for fun,” said Christie. “The spray paint can that they used — it was oil-based. So, there’s not a doubt in my mind that it made a mess all over these kids’ hands, and probably on their feet too or their shoes. And it would have been very difficult to get it off, because it is oil-based. If parents take a close look at their kids’ hands or clothes they were wearing Saturday night, they could possibly figure out who did it. I think it would be really nice for these kids to be held accountable for this stuff, because I just can’t imagine having such little respect and regard.”
Although neither the construction site nor the storage facility had security systems at the time of the incident, Christie said she had been planning to have a gate with a keypad installed, but had been waiting on DP&L to install a power box for her. Following this incident, she is trying to get the process expedited.
Josh said they usually did not have major problems with vandalism at sites, but following this incident he will probably be adding in security measures.
The vandalism should not set back the construction project, according to Josh.
The reported incident is under investigation.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.