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Vandals damage signs, windows, police cars

| October 18, 2006 12:00 AM

Libby police are investigating a spate of vandalism that occurred Saturday night and damaged campaign signs, windows at Asa Wood Elementary and two decommissioned police cars parked at the city shop along City Service Road.

A Rosauers employee reported several juvenile suspects vandalizing signs along U.S. Highway 2 around 10 p.m., said Chief Clay Coker. By the time an officer arrived, the suspects were gone.

The following morning the two police cars were found to have been vandalized, and the broken windows at Asa Wood were found Monday morning.

"Luckily it was a couple of older cars that had been retired," Coker said.

One of the cars was a Ford Taurus that the Libby Police Department inherited from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in 1996. The other was a Ford Crown Victoria that had been used by the department's school resource officer, a grant-funded position that no longer exists. Windows were broken out of both cars, and the bodies were apparently attacked with an ax or hatchet.

The cars were parked in a fenced area with a locked gate.

"Somebody had to climb over the fence to get in," Coker said.

Based on the trail of damage leading down Flower Creek from the area near Rosauers, past Asa Wood and ending up at the city shop, police are investigating the possibility that the vandalism committed by the same perpetrators, Coker said.

"We still have to follow up on some interviews," he said.