County road equipment vandalized

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 11, 2018

The Pearl River County Road Department has experienced two cases of vandalism in the past month which delayed construction and cost the county approximately $1,500 in damages.

PRC Road Manager Charlie Schielder said they are currently doing construction in McNeill on Steephollow Road. The first vandalism incident occurred in the middle of July. Workers arrived to find two of the machines had been severely damaged. Three tires on one of the machines had been punctured several times, the wires underneath had been cut and the equipment itself had been shot several times. On another piece of equipment, a front-end loader, the back window had been busted out.

Schielder said they were able to splice the wires back together, but replacing the tires and window cost about $1,000.

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The vandalism has been reported to the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department. Schielder said deputies came out and made a report, before installing surveillance equipment around the area.

Tuesday morning, workers arrived at a location and discovered that two more tires had been slashed on the roller. Schielder said surveillance footage did not capture a suspect, but he estimated the damage was done late at night on Aug. 6 or early in the morning on Aug. 7.

Altogether, damages from the two incidences have cost the department between $1,500 and $1,600 and has caused major delays, Schielder said. He said the vandalism has slowed down their efforts, because reporting the crimes requires staff to call the Sheriff’s Department, file a report and have the equipment repaired.

PRC Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Shane Tucker said they are aware of the situation and are actively looking into the issue, although he could not release specific information at this time.

“I encourage anyone who may have information to call us,” Tucker said.