$1,500 reward offered; Residents turn up the heat on vandals
While the Connellsville Police Department continues to investigate a rash of automobile vandalism incidents on the city's South Side, a local businessman and victims are doing their part to help end the spree.
Chief Stephen Cooper said the businessman, who asked that his identity be kept anonymous, has pledged to now pay $1,500 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.
In addition, Cooper said victims of the vandalism are planning to start a fund to add to that reward, but he is unsure exactly how much of an additional amount that would be.
The incidents began over a three-day period in May and continued in June along East Patterson and Cedar avenues, and Sycamore, Vine and South Pittsburgh streets.
Thus far, 25 automobiles on the South Side have had tires punctured with what is thought to be a cordless drill or screwdriver, which leaks air out of the tires over a long period of time. The damage to all the vehicles was estimated at $3,000.
Despite the efforts of these individuals, Cooper said the police don't have any new leads at this time.
"We got a couple of calls, but none of the leads ever panned out," said Cooper.
He added that the police have identified a couple of suspects, but simply don't have enough evidence or information to make an arrest. That's why additional information in the case is so essential. It could give the police the evidence needed to make an arrest or provide them with enough information to rule out specific individuals.
Cooper said there haven't been any other types of incidents that could be connected to the crimes in the same time frame. Although city police did investigate burglaries at two pharmacies and one house, Cooper said they weren't located in the same general area.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Connellsville Police Department at 724-628-2501, ext. 110.