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Vandals shoot up windows around Libby

by Canda HarbaughWestern News
| November 9, 2009 11:00 PM

Vandals used a pellet gun to shoot through multiple windows at businesses, cars and a residence this weekend, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage in Libby, according to officials.

“I know of at least 15 windows (priced) at $1,000 a piece that were lost,” said Lt. Roger Guches of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

No related thefts were reported and no one was hurt during the shootings, though Guches pointed out that one woman was in a business when a window was shot out near her.

The first related report came in Friday night from an anonymous caller who knew the culprits, but did not identify them, Guches said. The man reported that someone was throwing rocks at his vehicle. When authorities arrived, they discovered broken windows at Mineral Avenue businesses.

“Someone in the community knows who did this,” Guches said, urging anyone with information to come forward.

At least six businesses were hit Friday, one on Saturday and four on Sunday, Guches said. First National Bank suffered broken windows Saturday night and then lost five more on Sunday.

Dairy Queen, Aitkens Quik Stop South, Timberline, the County Annex Building, This ’n‘ That, Payne Machinery, Dream Marine and the old county animal shelter were among some of the businesses with broken windows.

A woman reported Saturday night that both passenger windows were broken out of her car as it was parked outside the Memorial Center. Less than an hour later a man reported that someone shot out the windows of his brother’s vehicle parked on Spencer Road. A minute later, at 11:13, the clerk at Aitkens Quik Stop South reported the front door and display window broken while she was in the back room. And at nearly midnight, another report came in.

The sheriff’s office and Libby Police are investigating the incident, taking into consideration some of the vehicle descriptions they received while looking over hours of business surveillance footage.

The vandalism no doubt reminds residents of the April morning when they couldn’t pass a city block without seeing shattered glass caused by culprits who have yet to be caught. Authorities don’t know if the two are connected, Guches said.

“Anything is possible,” he said, but pointed out that the vandalism in April was a result of a slingshot, not a pellet gun.