Paintball, BB suspects at large, eggers nabbed

Whidbey residents and business owners have been cleaning and repairing damage caused by vandals going wild with BB guns, paintball guns and eggs.

The BB and paintball culprits remain at large, but police think they’ve broken the case of the egg tossers.

Over the past several months, homes, cars, businesses and churches have  been damaged by someone using a BB gun to shoot out windows of homes, cars and businesses.

Lt. John Dyer of the Oak Harbor Police Department said the BB gun incidents  started when bus shelters were targeted, but the type of targets soon expanded. The Nazarene church and a Navy recruiting office were damaged last weekend and a business on Whidbey Avenue lost a window Wednesday night.

It’s been difficult to find who’s doing the damage because the incidents  are widespread throughout the town.

“We’re really hoping that a citizen sees something and lets us know,” Dyer said. He added officers are assuming whoever is shooting out windows is in a vehicle.

In what appears to be a separate incident a week ago Sunday night, a dozen homes located in the area of Eagle Vista Avenue and Capital Drive on the south end of Oak Harbor were vandalized by someone splattering them with a paintball gun.

Dyer said officers responded to a call Monday morning that a home had been paintballed and they discovered a dozen homes received similar damage. He said the orange paint used is water soluble and can be cleaned from homes. The only physical damage reported was a broken screen door.

Dyer suggested a neighborhood block watch program is a useful tool to protect neighborhoods.

As an example, he noted that at least 10 egging incidents took place Friday night. But the yolk turned out to be on the perpetrators thanks to a resident who provided a license plate and description. Officers were able to find the car carrying the suspected eggers: two males, ages 17 and 18. Police are determining how many egging incidents took place before arresting the suspects, Dyer said.

No suspects have been found in the BB gun and paintball incidents. Dyer said anyone who notices a suspicious vehicle they should call I-COM at 679-9567 to provide a description and a license plate number.

For information about starting a block watch, contact Dyer at 279-4644.


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