Crime spree on city, utility facilities

A string of similar vandalism and theft incidents last week left a mess at several locations, and questions for island utility crews and city employees.

Beginning on Tuesday, April 12, two city-owned buildings and two private utility structures were broken into over the course of seven days. Bainbridge Police have yet to establish a connection between the events.

Port Madison Water Company Board Chairman Dick Shryock said the damage done to a pump station could have been much worse had another board member not happened to walk by and notice the facility’s door left open.

Sometime between Friday, April 14 night and Sunday morning, April 16, a person(s) broke through a screen vent in the building, kicked down a plywood wall and cut copper wires from two electrical boxes at the pump. Shryock estimated the damage added up to at least several thousand dollars.

“It had the potential to be pretty devastating had we ran out of water and the pressure pumps went dry, and we lost them,” said Shryock.

Board member Marilyn Usher does a daily walk around the area and called the police after noticing evidence of vandals. Shryock said it appeared that someone had tried to access the generator, but gave up. Water service was not disrupted, Shryock said, and the site had not been vandalized before.

Later Sunday morning a Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation employee reported that the snack shack at Rotary Park was burglarized. Approximately $90 worth of cash was taken, along with candy, and $140 worth of damages.

On the following Monday morning, April 18, a pump shed on Old Mill Road was also vandalized. According to the police report, a 4-by-4 vehicle shoved against a secured metal gate, damaging the gate and the vehicle, in an attempt to gain entry. A broken headlight lens was found at the scene.

The first report occurred on Tuesday, April 12 when a caller reported that someone had broken into a city-owned storage container on Sands Avenue and taken an unknown amount of used electrical wire. The damage was estimated at $100.

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