Arrests Made In Albert Lea Vandalism Spree

Updated: 07/17/2014 10:55 PM
Created: 07/17/2014 10:51 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- Police arrested two juveniles in connection to a brazen vandalism spree that happened early Thursday morning in Albert Lea.

Residents in a central neighborhood of Albert Lea awoke Thursday morning to slashed tires and busted car windows.

Authorities say they received at least 17 damage reports in all.

"This is usually a quiet neighborhood,” said Chad Boone, whose wife’s car had its tires slashed. “Like any neighborhood you get a little bit here and there, but nothing like this where everybody gets their tires slashed.”

But it wasn't just cars, several local businesses were hit as well, including the Salvation Army Family Store.

Officials estimated $2,000 worth of damage was done, but only half of that will be covered by insurance.

"A thousand dollars is a thousand dollars,” said Cpt. Jim Brickson of the Salvation Army. “But in our case it's a thousand dollars’ worth of services that we can't provide."

The owner of a local auto repair shop saw his truck and other vehicles pelted with rocks he believes came from the train tracks just behind the property.

He said his security cameras caught two people slashing tires, and that video was turned over to police.

"It leads us to believe that it’s just not a vindictive type of [criminal] damage,” said Deputy Director J.D. Carlson of the Albert Lea Police Department. “People were out there having joy out of this."

Neighbors said vandals had been active in the area for the past week, with some residents saying they had their tires slashed multiple times.

"You have to keep looking out your window at night,” Boone said. “Got to be kind of more cautious."

“This is a time where we really need to figure out what happened, why this happened, and maybe make a change in somebody’s life, or a couple people’s lives,” Cpt. Brickson said.

Charges for the two juveniles were pending on Thursday night.