ERIE, Colo. (CBS4) – Juveniles, angry contractors or possibly people upset with new development?
Those are among the suspect profiles police are considering as they search for those responsible for a costly vandalism spree in Erie.
On Sunday police were called to the new Colliers Hill neighborhood after the vandals damaged at least six different homes that are under construction. Five homes were in the 600 block of Sunup Place and one was on Sunshine Circle.
Erie resident Shane Lefever told CBS4 he “wouldn’t be surprised” if it turned out to be people who are mad about sprawl in his town.
“This used to be basically a small little farm community, and I understand not wanting a ton of yuppies buying up the land and moving in. I understand it, but it’s the way of Colorado now,” he said.
The damage is in the hundreds of thousands, according to Erie police Cmdr. Lee Mathis.
Police allowed a CBS4 crew inside some of the homes and the damage was immediately evident. Floors were stained, windows were shattered and bannisters and walls were broken. Carpets and tile floors have been destroyed.
“They took lacquer, poured it down the air conditioning vents. Just basically random damage,” Mathis said.
Last August vandals damaged homes in a different community in the town. That crime spree also hasn’t been solved.
“Very similar damage. Very similar M.O.,” Mathis said.
Erie police say many of the homes that have been targeted are close to or in rural areas and are sometimes unlocked overnight. Lefever said he expects vandals are finding them easy targets.
“It’s sad that it’s happening, but it doesn’t surprise me. These homes can be easy pickins.”
In hopes of avoiding any more damage, the builders of the homes targeted on Sunday have placed portable surveillance cameras outside.
Police say they aren’t ruling anything out in their investigation.
“Anytime you have development people aren’t happy about it. But in this case we don’t have any specifics,” Mathis said.
Erie police released the following details about the case.
The case number for the crimes in Collier’s Hill is 14-3106. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Detective Dan Niemoth of the Erie Police Department at 303-926-2835.
Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted via the Crime Stoppers website at http://www.crimeshurt.com [ http://www.crimeshurt.com/%5D . Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.