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Arrests made in vandalism case

Vandalism in the dugout at Robinson Community Park. (Warrenton Police Department)
Thursday, August 8, 2019

A 40-year-old man was arrested, along with two teenage girls, for thousands of dollars in recent vandalism to city property.

Three more juveniles were being interviewed in connection with the crimes Wednesday and police still are tracking leads.

“The recent vandalism is more than just offensive to the taxpayer; it’s a crime against the community,” Mayor Henry Balensifer said. “In Warrenton, parents, kids and community members donate and volunteer countless hours and funds to ensure facilities like the soccer fields and our baseball facilities are a welcoming and positive place for our kids to recreate. These acts are a slap in the face to all those volunteers and donors.”

Last week, Warrenton city commissioners put up a reward of $500 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits who plastered the Second Street kayak docks and Robinson Community Park with graffiti, obscenities and even a bit of poetry.

“We’ve gotten bits and pieces of information from multiple people,” Police Chief Matt Workman said Wednesday. “The adult we arrested was not mentioned by anybody.”

The adult and two girls who were arrested made full confessions, Workman added.

The presence of graffiti sends a message that nobody cares, that gangs are moving in or that the vandals are bored, angry or vengeful. Warrenton was quick to respond.

“There’s a cost associated with that,” Workman said. “We had to pull multiple public works employees from their regular duties to clean up and paint over the graffiti, purchase the paint, pressure-wash, sand and there are some things that have to be replaced.”

Balensifer said he was encouraged to see the number of citizens, church groups and civic organizations that volunteered to help the city once they heard about the vandalism.

“Despite the aggravating and disappointing acts of a few, the citizens of Warrenton continue to show their community spirit is undaunted,” he said. “I want to praise the police and public works department for their rapid response to clean and investigate this matter.”

Brandon Gillette, 40, who has no known address, was the sole adult among those arrested for vandalism.

“We’re a little concerned a 40-year-old is hanging out with juveniles,” the chief said. “We’re looking into making sure no other crimes were committed by this individual.”

Anyone with information about the crime is urged to email Officer Robert Wirt at rwirt@ci.warrenton.or.us or call 503-325-8661 and ask to speak to an on-duty officer.

Vandalism at the Second Street kayak dock (Warrenton Police Department)


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