SCOTTS VALLEY – Vandals damaged more than a dozen pieces of construction equipment at the job site of a residential development on the outskirts of Scotts Valley during the weekend.
Police stopped short of calling the crime ecoterrorism, but said it appeared to target to the construction site because all 15 earth movers and tractors at the Falcon Meadows development on Green Hills Road were rendered inoperable by the vandalism.
“The fact that they hit pretty much of all of the heavy equipment – we think this was planned,” Scotts Valley police Lt. John Hohmann said.
No group has claimed responsibility, according to police.
“The site didn’t have anything to substantiate that they were targeted for one reason or another,” Hohmann said.
The vandal or vandals put a powdery substance – maybe a mortar mix with additives – into the engine block, gas lines or hydraulic lines of the earth movers and tractors sometime between 6 p.m. Friday and Monday morning, according to police. The construction site is located north of Elzer Drive in an area with little weekend traffic.
The subdivision plans include 16 new homes and a chunk of land dedicated as open space on Green Hills Road near Highway 17. The proposal, by property owner Chris Perri of Apple Homes Development, was approved by the Scotts Valley City Council in May 2008 and projected to be completed this year or next, though construction of the homes has yet to begin.
The project includes two-story homes about 3,000 square feet in size that will take up about 7 of the 48 acres.
The construction company reported the vandalism Monday. The company also had a mechanic assess damage to the equipment. Hohmann said some of the machinery started up initially, but then wouldn’t function. The extent of the damage and cost of repairs was not known Monday evening, though police called it “extensive” in a prepared release. It was also unclear what impact the vandalism would have on the construction project.
Officers collected physical evidence at the scene, police reported. Hohmann also said he planned to discuss the crime with other county police agencies Tuesday to see if other jurisdictions have had similar incidents of vandalism.
Investigators ask anyone with information about the vandalism call the Scotts Valley police tip line at [ fuck the police]. They also ask people to call 911 to report suspicious persons and vehicles at construction sites and residential developments.