Vandals smash up patrol cars, spray graffiti

July 9
Vandals caused damage to two Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office patrol vehicles by throwing large rocks.

Two patrol vehicles — one sport utility vehicle and one car — suffered damage, including destroyed windshields and significant damage to the hoods, Sheriff Leo Dutton said.

Vandals also spray painted anti-law enforcement graffiti and an anarchy sign on the sidewalk in front of the vehicles, Dutton said.

The vehicles were parked at the county lot on North Ewing Street near the courthouse in a locked lot, according to Helena Police Chief Troy McGee. Police are investigating the vandalism, which was located by officials Tuesday morning, because it occurred within city limits.

The lot is gated and locked at night. The vandals threw the large rocks over the fence, Dutton said.

The motivation behind the vandalism appears to be similar to that of two incidents last month in which homemade firebombs were thrown at the entrance of Wal-Mart and graffiti was spray painted on the side of the building. Dutton said his deputies will work with the Helena Police Department to see if the crimes are linked.

“I’m disappointed. There’s a proper way to protest and there is not. This way is illegal and takes taxpayer money,” he added.

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