By Lauren DiSpirito
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– Since October vandals have hit 18 new construction homes across Northern Colorado, breaking windows, dumping paint on carpet and hardwood floors, and destroying cabinets, counter tops and appliances.
Fort Collins police say builders’ properties in Wellington, Loveland, Timnath and Fort Collins have sustained significant damage. The homes are owned by different builders and were all locked and secured when they were vandalized, Fort Collins Police spokeswoman Kate Kimble said the damage is estimated to total more than $160,000.
In some cases, builders say whoever is doing the damage hit the same homes twice. On Tilden Street in Fort Collins, Meritage Homes building manager Adam Hess says vandals broke all of the windows on the first floor of one home and then hit that home a second time.
“It does cost Meritage a lot of money, it costs us a lot of time, and it costs us sales as well,” Hess said.
After the second incident, Meritage Homes installed cameras and began stationing security guards at construction sites overnight. Hess said that’s a measure the company hasn’t taken in Northern Colorado before.
“We felt like we had to do something,” Hess said.
Construction workers in Loveland expressed frustration over the continuing crimes. Charley Kontz says workers’ tools have been targeted.
“It’s progressively happening on and off for the last two months,” Kontz said.
Police say they have generated some leads in the cases but those have not yet led to any arrests. By putting information out to the public they hope to receive tips about who may be perpetrating the vandalism. Kimble says the extensive nature of the damage leads investigators to believe the cases are connected, and that the same person, or group, may be responsible.
Additional Information from Fort Collins Police:
Citizens with any information are encouraged to contact Detective Andy Kinkead at 970-221-6557 or Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868. Callers can remain anonymous and may possibly be eligible for a cash reward. Crime Stoppers can also be reached online at www.stopcriminals.org.