FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A rash of vandalism is causing significant damage all over the Front Range.
At least 18 new home construction sites have been hit, causing more than $160,000 in damage.
To home builders, it's a work of art. To home buyers, it's a fresh start. But to someone else, these new homes going up all over the Front Range are easy targets.
“It's a little nerve-wracking honestly to be here and know that there's a lot of break-ins going on,” said Rhonda Begin, who lives in Fort Collins’ new Bucking Horse Subdivision.
In mid-October, just down the street from Begin, a two story home, still under construction, was hit by vandals. A few days later, a second home in the area was also targeted.
“I've heard they are breaking all the windows, throwing cans of paint, they are tearing up fireplaces,” Begin said.
Pictures show the extent of that damage including broken windows, paint thrown inside the furnace, on electrical wires and smeared all over the walls and floor.
“I think they are doing it for fun. I mean its kinda the thrill of the hunt. I think they go in there having a good time and thinking of thats really cool but its just not,” she said.
Police say at least 18 homes in Loveland, Timnath, Fort Collins and Wellington have sustained similar damage. The vandals, targeting all new builds, destroy pretty much anything they can get their hands on.
"One house that was hit, the homeowners were supposed to move in about a week,” said Begin.
The damage is significant to buyers and to the general contractors who are losing thousands and thousands of dollars. But it’s also effecting entire communities; the neighborhood’s now on high alert, wondering where the next target might be and when the suspect or suspects will be caught.
“We installed a security system so we keep it on a lot. But we’re always on alert,” Begin said. “We called 911 the other night because we saw suspicious activity in the neighborhood so its a little scary.”
The vandalism started in October and continued through the end of November.
A map displaying the locations of the incidents has been provided by Fort Collins Police:
Police are asking people who live in or near areas with ongoing new construction to keep a lookout and call 911 to report any suspicious activity.
Citizens with any information regarding these cases of vandalism 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 atwww.stopcriminals.org.