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Vandals hit Bainbridge Police vehicles | Updated

Two of the eight vehicles vandalized at the Bainbridge Police Deparment early Wednesday morning await repairs. Tires were slashed on several of the vehicles. - Tad Sooter/Staff Photo
Two of the eight vehicles vandalized at the Bainbridge Police Deparment early Wednesday morning await repairs. Tires were slashed on several of the vehicles.
— image credit: Tad Sooter/Staff Photo

While intersections and signs across Bainbridge Island have been splashed with white and blue paint over the last two weeks, vandalism reached a new level Wendesday morning.

Sometime between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. vandals dumped and sprayed paint on eight Bainbridge Police vehicles at the station on Winslow Way. Tires were also slashed on several of the vehicles.

Officers spent much of Wednesday shuttling the damaged patrol cars and SUVs to auto body shops for repair. An initial estimate put damage at $12,000.

Deputy Police Chief Mark Duncan said the crimes were still under investigation and that police are following several leads.

Though one vehicle had "08" painted on its windows, Duncan said police are still determining whether crimes at the station are related to the recent spree of vandalism attributed to high school seniors.

"The timing is suspicious, I'll say that much," Duncan said.

In fact, Duncan said the two on-duty officers were patrolling for vandals elsewhere on the island when the crimes occurred at the station.

No one was on duty inside the police building at the time of the crimes. The station's parking lot has no security fence or cameras.

Bainbridge Police have a fleet of 27 vehicles, but most are parked at officers' homes at night.

Bainbridge Island School District Superintendent Ken Crawford responded to the rash of vandalism in a letter to families Wednesday afternoon.

"This behavior is an insult to the community and our schools, and the vast majority of students recognize it as such," Crawford wrote.

He said recent vandalism was likely the work of a small number of students and that the community "must take care to not condemn an entire class of some 350 students for the criminal conduct of a few."

Security has been heightened at school facilities in response to the crimes. Crawford said the district is cooperating with police investigations and encouraged community members to come forward with any information regarding the crimes.

The class of 2008 will host a car wash 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Chevron station on High School Road, with all proceeds benefiting the Bainbridge Police Department.

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