Vandals Strike Again

I think of myself as a generally paranoid type of neighborhood personality. I’m always watching out for strange people in the hood and figure they are up to something, however, not being of a criminal mind, myself, I am usually wrong about people. I can understand a person who would steal because they have nothing or even because they want drugs. I can’t wrap my head around senseless acts of violence, though. A few weeks ago I reported that some helium balloons had been stolen from inside the garden. Not harmful, just stupid. I wish I had spent more time trying to figure out how they got in. Turns out, it was pretty simple to bypass the locked gate and the most recent acts of vandalism were much more severe.

The paint which was being used to paint the shed (the lovely mint green and some trim colors) was “liberated” from the property and splashed all over the street and sidewalk and on the outside of no less than 3 cars and poured through the sun roof of one car (a fine welcome to our new neighbors on the block). One of the cars also had damage to a tire and a busted out window as I heard it. I did not get wind of what had happened until most of it had been cleaned up.

This is frustrating. I had not considered that a 5 gallon bucket of paint would be used as a weapon or that someone would be that malicious and destructive. What’s next? How could I possibly prevent something equally appalling from happening again? I know many of you will suggest a security camera and some motion detector lights, which are a fine idea if you have them to donate to the garden. I have put a second lock on the gate to prevent squeezing through (though these culprits-judging by their painty shoe prints-may still be small enough to get in). I know all the neighbors are watching the lot-especially the ones who spent Saturday scrubbing their cars-but I would like to ask all of the neighbors who pass by the garden in the latest and earliest hours to please keep a look out and CALL THE POLICE if you see ANYTHING going on in that lot overnight!

We no longer have enough paint to finish painting the shed and some materials we were set to return to Parr lumber can no longer go back because they got black paint splashed all over them. So…that’s all I have to say about that.

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4 Responses to Vandals Strike Again

  1. Alex Reed says:

    Ugh, so frustrating!! This makes me want to foil these vandals and those who care nothing for their neighbors. Let’s make this bad thing into a good thing. Who’s with me? Sign me up for the garden committee and some winter work parties! Alex Reed, malexreed -at- gmail -dot- com

  2. 62ndgarden says:

    This post really cheers me up! Thanks Alex. I look forward to working together.

  3. beachelf says:

    Hey, Vick,
    Sorry about the vandalism. I’m guessing preteens by your description? Perhaps the neighbors should be noticing kids’s shoes and looking for signs of green/black paint on them? At least if you could ID the perps, you might be able to discuss with the parents (as a group-not alone,) and/or let the police know. Or not? I don’t know. I know if it were my kids, I would want to know and address it. But I guess if you’re a parent letting your pre-teens and teens out free at night, maybe you don’t much care if they wreak havoc.

    Still, I think that kids act out like this when they need something emotionally (I mean, in addition to supervision and being taught right from wrong.) If you could ID them and then give them a way to participate in and experience the positive vibe of CREATING, what a transformative thing that could be for them. I would be willing to bet that these kids don’t have anything like that kind of guidance or resource for positive sense of community in their lives right now. Your community’s garden has the potential to grow much more than plants here.

    I love it that the adults are coming together and using it as a tool to meet, befriend, and appreciate each other and the neighborhood as a whole. If you can find a way to take youngins’ who are headed down the wrong path, and put ’em back on track, that could be an amazing feat with far reaching implications into all our futures. Think Butterfly Effect. 😉

    I’m not trying to be preachy, and it certainly isn’t your or your neighbor’s responsibility to rehabilitate the neighborhood hooligans. But I think of the expression I once heard, “A weed is simply a flower growing in the wrong place.” And I think with the communal wisdom between all of you, you are being presented with a challenge to touch some young lives for the benefit of all.
    It takes a village to raise a child.

    Love, peace, and smoother sailing to you all.

  4. 62ndgarden says:

    Thanks sis. These are some really great and inspirational ideas. Partnering with Oregon Tradeswomen has certainly opened my eyes to the important role youths can play in the garden. I love that saying “a weed is just a flower growing in the wrong place”, thanks for posting it. I think we are all in agreement here, to move on, not spend our energy being upset about this and just try to secure the grounds better. ❤

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