Vandals Damage Construction, County Property - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

12/23/02

Vandals Damage Construction, County Property

One track hoe was submerged in the mud it was supposed to be digging out. Another one had steel rebar poking through its broken front windshield. And a few hundred feet away, a motor grader was flipped on its side.

Pat Fore looked at the damage and said, "Someone had to know what they were doing."

Fore runs the construction company that vandals attacked. "It just looks like a vicious act," he said, "whether it be toward the company or whoever. But it isn't just your normal joy riding of equipment."

Harrison County deputies dusted the road equipment to find clues that could lead them to the Sunday night culprits. Fore said he would offer a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest. "Not only does it stop the men who are employed here for "x" amount of weeks for this to be repaired, but look at the cost," Fore said. "You're talking several hundred thousands of dollars in cost."

The cost will impact both Fore Construction and Harrison County taxpayers. You see, the county is responsible for the section of Tradition Parkway that's already paved. That's why road department investigator J.R. Rivers took pictures of the scene. "They did some damage on the ditch, on the concrete ditch. And a little bit of the curb," Rivers said. "We can't tell until we get all the dirt off what they did to the asphalt."

When asked if the damage was going to cost the county some money to repair, Rivers shrugged his shoulders and said yes. How much it will cost won't be known until Fore Construction can move its vandalized equipment out of the way.

Investigators found a credit card gas receipt with Sunday's date on it near one of the damaged trucks. They also got a list of employees Fore Construction recently let go. They hoped both pieces of information would lead them to the vandals.

by Brad Kessie

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