Mayhem In McHenry After Vandals Strike Twice
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UPDATED: 11/04010 7:31 a.m.
McHENRY, Ill. (CBS) – It’s one big mess after another in one Chicago area town Wednesday night. First, dozens of headstones were vandalized. Then, more than 100 cars were smashed up in driveways all across McHenry. CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole surveys the damage.
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A Victorian cemetery is often the backdrop for a ghost story, but on this Halloween in McHenry, it was the site of a vandalism spree, with more than 50 headstones pushed over, split open and knocked to the ground.
“We’re talking desecration here and real disrespect, to not only those buried here but also their families,” said Deputy Chief Robert Lumber, McHenry Police Dept.
The adjoining St. Mary’s and Woodland cemeteries date back to the 1800’s. The vandals struck massive historical stones and towering monuments over 10 feet tall.
“There were others that were more circular-type of headstones that were actually pulled off of their foundations or pushed off their foundations, and rolled down the roadway,” Lumber said.
As officers worked to clean up the damage, it was clear more than one person was to blame.
“We had multiple officers trying to lift them,” Lumber said. “They were hundreds and hundreds of pounds.”
As police were investigating the graveyard vandalism, another wave of destruction hit McHenry.
“I woke up this morning, came outside to go to work and my window was smashed out,” said Mike Darbro.
Darbro wasn’t alone.
“You can tell this is part of the window and the windshield wiper was cracked,” said Stacey Kelley.
By mid-morning Wednesday, police has responded to more than 100 cases of car windshields all over McHenry that had been shattered.
Police say they they had received calls from more than 140 residents, reporting damage. Most of the damage was to rear windshields.
The Daily Herald reports as many as 180 cars were damaged, since some homes had more than one car parked in the driveway.
“They would see one and then they would start to check the area, and they would see more and see more and see more of them,” said Lumber.
“It’s completely shattered out, everything was all over the driveway this morning,” Kelley said.
“They broke out the entire inside window,” Darbro said. “There’s tons of glass still floating around.”
Officials do not believe the two instances are related, but the investigation has strained the resources of the small police department.
“I have small children in my home, so it is a huge safety factor and it’s a concern for everyone in the neighborhood,” said Kelley.
Late Wednesday, McHenry Police told CBS 2 they took two juveniles into custody for the cemetery desecration, and they are seeking a third.
The investigation into the car vandalisms continues.