Concerned residents from the Greenbriar and Westridge developments, Amity Township, filled the meeting room of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Thursday night regarding recent dangerous acts of vandalism in their neighborhoods.
Amity Township Police Officer Thomas Gauby, who has worked with the Amity Crime Watch for six years, led the 45-minute session with an update.
Gauby said the vandalism began about six weeks ago and now includes spray painting and caulking of vehicles, trash can fires, and accelerants in mailboxes.
One of the trash can fires was located near a gas main, which could have resulted in a gas explosion and fire.
“We’re trying to get it solved as fast as possible,” said Gauby, adding, “We do not want anyone’s house to catch fire. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been any pattern except for most incidents occurring Sunday and Monday nights.”
Mailbox fires are a federal offense.
Charges against the vandals when caught would begin with criminal mischief and arson, and possibly financial restitution to residents’ damaged property.
Gauby said the Daniel Boone School District supplied the police department with a list of students who live in Greenbriar and Westridge.
Police are currently interviewing eight teens on that list.
He asked that anyone who may be awake in the early morning hours, to look out their windows for any people walking, running, acting suspiciously, or committing vandalism, to call 911 immediately.
“If people are up at night, sit out on your porch, look at what’s going on,” said Gauby. “Can sit out in a car and watch for any kids on foot. We need to catch them in the act.”
The biggest thing he said people can do is to remember and report to police what the teens look like -- what they’re wearing, their height, wearing glasses, beards, any backpacks, and where they go.
“Put your lights on at night, motion detectors, keep trash and recycling bins in your garage and put them out in the morning. Get to know your neighbors, what cars they drive, what time they cone home at night,” he said.
Gauby said the curfew for people under age 18 is 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.
“The police are asking kids to keep their ears open on social media, where they’ll hear first who is committing the crimes.”