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East Bremerton besieged by acts of vandalism

The calls began streaming in Nov. 25 when the principal of Fairview Junior High School reported one of the school’s garbage cans had been used to start a fire earlier in the morning.

After checking, five or six various windows around the school were found to have been shot out with what appeared to Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office deputies to be a BB or pellet gun.

Not long after, a second call came in from East Bremerton with similar sounding circumstances. Then, another call. This time, two driver’s side windows appeared to have been shot out of a gray Land Rover, also in the East Bremerton area.

Another five calls came in that day reporting shot-out car windows including that of a 1993 Chevrolet Caprice Station Wagon, a 2001 Toyota Corolla, a 1997 Ford Explorer and a blue 2007 Toyota Scion.

“It’s just one of those things,” KCSO spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said. “It only takes a second for someone in a vehicle or on a bicycle to ride up, shoot out a window and then flee the scene. The vehicle owners don’t find the damage until the next morning so they can’t get a license number or description.”

The crime spree would not end there though and the criminals didn’t take the Thanksgiving holiday off either.

A burglary and fire alarm at Fairview Junior High School sounded late Thanksgiving night and police and fire units found an open door with a smashed window to the Art Room. Nobody was found inside the school and there were no signs of theft or damage inside.

In addition to the one completely smashed-out window, there also were seven panes of glass in that area of the school that had numerous small impact chips in the glass. The chips appeared to be consistent with what is caused by a BB or slingshot, according to sheriff’s deputies.

After Thanksgiving, the vehicle vandalism resumed as an East Bremerton resident called to report her car had been spray-painted with the letters “LSD.”

Afterward, another call from Fairview Junior High School for a suspicious fire. Apparently someone lit a garbage can on fire on the side of Central Valley Road in front of the rear entrance to Fairview Junior High. The garbage can was destroyed, but firefighters were able to locate a piece of mail in the burned-up garbage belonging to a nearby residence. The residents said they did not notice anyone taking their trash can and deputies said the suspects would have had to carry the garbage a long distance to get from the residence to the front of the junior high.

As of Wednesday, 24 reports of vandalism from Silverdale to Bremerton had been reported, all of them seeming to be connected, according to Wilson.

“We believe all of these reports are connected,” he said. “It is unlikely any of these are copy-cat crimes, but you never know. It is going to take someone apprehending the suspects or catching them in the act to resolve this.”

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