Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bainbridge vandals slash tires, spray-paint cop cars


BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. – High school seniors are suspected of vandalizing eight police cars early Wednesday morning on Bainbridge Island.

Vandals slashed a dozen police tires, splashed paint, and keyed the doors of squad cars -- destruction estimated at about $12,000.

The vandalism occurred sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. while most of the cars were parked at the police station.

Among the damaged vehicles are several new cars not even in service yet. In addition, the chief's car was vandalized in front of his home.

"Well its not the first time there's been damage to police cars, but I think it's the first there's been anything of this magnitude," said Deputy Chief Mark Duncan.

But the culprits left behind several clues, including shoe imprints in the paint and their class year of 2008 painted all over the place.

During their lunch hour Wednesday, carloads of high school seniors drove by to gawk at the damage.

"This is not a class prank," said Ian Powell, senior class president. "I think this reflects individuals, not our entire school or grade. I think this went way too far if this was trying to be a prank."

The school superintendent says since it was likely the work of just a few people, there are no plans to penalize the whole class.

Some residents say there may be tension because police have been cracking down on a long held tradition of Bainbridge seniors painting their graduating year on streets and intersections.

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