November 27, 2008

Vandalism complaints brought to city council, sheriff

Vandalism complaints brought to city council, sheriff



More than 20 concerned New Town residents appeared before the city council Nov. 19 to talk about a rash of vandalism that occurred around town in November.

Reports of incidents included theft of lawn and garden items, setting small fires, destroying neighborhood fences and graffiti on the sides of buildings.

Mountrail County Sheriff Ken Halvorson and city council members heard loud and clear from the residents that they are upset and want the situation rectified.

Jim Miller, a local man who works with the Boys and Girls Club and is spearheading a citizens group called Neighborhood Watch and New Town city attorney Wade Enget also attended the meeting.

"We’re doing what we can, but we need to do more," Halvorson told the assembly. "I’m more than willing to work with you."

One woman said she confronted several young people in her back yard and Halvorson responded that she immediately call the Mountrail County Sheriff’s Department, the Three Affiliated Tribes Police or 911. Halvorson announced the Sheriff’s office number at 628-2975.

He added if residents believe there is gang activity going on, calling 911 is the answer as it will get officers quickly dispatched and most often nullify the problem.

Miller believes the vandalism is being carried out by students in fourth through seventh grades, primarily because he has caught some juveniles painting graffiti on buildings, and confidential sources have told him.

He said the older the students get, the more savvy they become to juvenile law and recruit younger kids who aren’t as likely to be punished as severely as older kids.

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