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At Island Transit, they call it window pane

A possible slingshot wielding vandal is plaguing Island Transit bus shelters on North Whidbey Island.

Island Transit officials noticed that someone shot out glass panels of a bus shelter near the Vanderzicht Memorial Pool in Oak Harbor on Dec. 16, Dec. 23 and again on Dec. 27. Glass at a bus shelter on West Beach Road was recently shot out as well.

“There’s definitely been a rash,” said Martha Rose, Island Transit executive director. “It’s really sad when people do that.”

Workers from Island Transit suspect someone used a slingshot to knock out the windows. After each incident, they discovered three-eighth inch ball bearings at each bus shelter, said Roy Daniel, operations supervisor for Island Transit. Those ball bearings are used as ammunition for a popular slingshot, known as a “Wrist Rocket.”

Island Transit has filed a report with local police about the vandalized bus shelters.

Transit staff replace glass at several shelters throughout the year. Most times, the broken glass is caused by something as simple as a car kicking up a rock. However, because so many glass panes were broken at one shelter, officials think someone intentionally shattered them.

“It’s very hard to catch people doing it,” Daniel said.

The glass in the bus shelters is costly to replace. Including installation, it costs Island Transit $250 per pane to replace shattered glass. Daniel noted that the panes are comprised of safety glass, which is designed to shatter into small pieces when broken.

Rose said she doesn’t know when the panes will be replaced. Staff is holding off on replacing the panes until the vandalism ends or someone is caught.

In addition, Island Transit is looking to install additional surveillance cameras at several bus shelters throughout the area. Currently, cameras are installed at bus shelters near Prairie Center in Coupeville, Harbor Station in Coupeville and Terry’s Corner on Camano Island.

Rose said additional cameras will help improve public safety around shelters. She doesn’t yet know know how many cameras will eventually be installed or which bus shelters will receive them.

Meanwhile, officials are busy preparing for construction of a new headquarters building near Coupeville along with a realignment of the intersection of Highway 20 and Parker Road. Island Transit will start looking for a construction manager and seek requests for proposals to design the project in 2012.

 

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