Vandals strike town

Published 12:12 am Thursday, August 16, 2007

Monterey — Monterey residents awoke last Friday morning to find significant vandalism had been committed across their small town.

The vandalism included the destruction of at least six mailboxes and damage to community fire departments and the high school.

A fire on Dr. Gibson Road, which consumed a home, also happened that night, and while the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office is not sure the incidents are connected, the possibility is being investigated, CPSO public information officer Kathleen Stevens said.

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“Apparently these vandals had very little concern for the community or the community’s safety,” Sheriff Randy Maxwell said in a press release. “I can guarantee that arrests will be made in this case.”

The sheriff’s office is putting all its resources into the case, Maxwell said.

The vandals caused more than $2,000 worth damage to the Fire Protection District No. 1 station, located on Louisiana 129, when they apparently backed a truck into its door, Stevens said.

It is believed the same vandals were involved in a similar incident in Catahoula Parish, in which the gas lines of the fire trucks at the Parhams Fire Station were cut, Stevens said.

CPSO investigators reported about $2,000 worth of damage was done to Monterey High School after the vandals backed into a storage shed, Stevens said.

The vandals also reportedly did some damage to the grass in front of the school with their vehicles.

Along with the damage done to public facilities, three telephone boxes — which contained wiring for phone service in the community — were run over, and investigators reported attempts to pull the wires out of at least one box, Stevens said.

Though the vandals did not damage his property, Monterey resident Morris Wilson said they did hit his neighbors’ mailbox.

“I hope they catch the vandals and put them in jail,” he said.

Another Monterey resident, JoAnn Dodge, said another problem the community faces might have contributed to the vandalisms.

“I’ve been here two years, and all that time I’ve heard drugs are bad,” she said. “I think it is funny I hear ‘vandalism’ and my thoughts go straight to drugs.”

Fire district and Monterey High School officials could not be reached for comment.

The incidents are being investigated by CPSO Investigators Sheila McFarland and David Hendrick.

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism should contact McFarland or Hendrick at 318-336-2200, 318-757-3162 or 318-336-3525.