Classic car gets 'keyed' at Keystone

Monday was such a warm, sunny winter’s day that Rob Davison called his insurance company, got a day’s worth of coverage for his classic 1965 Pontiac Tempest convertible, removed the wraps, and drove to the Keystone ferry landing to have a picnic with his girlfriend.

Nothing could happen to such a perfectly preserved car on such a nice day, right?

Wrong. The bright red Tempest’s professional paint job ended up getting ruined by teen-aged vandals who intentionally scratched it and several other vehicles simply because “we were bored,” as they later explained to the Deputy Lane Campbell, who investigated the incident.

Five cars were “keyed,” as the crime is known, and Deputy Campbell said he has contacted four of the owners. The other drove off apparently without recognizing the damage. That person is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office.

The fact that the perpetrators were caught is unusual, according to Campbell. Most victims of keying only find out later, and aren’t even sure when or where it happened.

But Davison saw the teenagers get off the ferry from Port Townsend, and he was a bit wary. He watched them as he was picnicking, but lost sight of them from time to time. Eventually, he saw them board an Island Transit bus.

Soon after, Davison returned to his car and found the scratch marks running the length of each side. He decided to drive the the Sheriff’s Office in Coupeville, and on the way he came across the bus letting kids off in town. Darned if he didn’t see the kids he suspected of keying the cars.

He said he called 911 and then “ran after and stopped them” from leaving the area.

Deputy Campbell arrived and ended up arresting two boys, ages 16 and 17, with Coupeville and Greenbank addresses. Neither is enrolled in school, he said Friday.

The boys are facing felony charges of Malicious Mischief 1, Malicious Mischief 2, and one of them was charged with possessing marijuana and paraphernalia.

“They said they were bored — you gotta love that,” lamented Campbell. “They’d come over on the ferry and were waiting for the bus.” One boy allegedly scratched the cars with a key, and one used a small screwdriver.

Damage to Davison’s car alone is estimated at $2,000. Campbell estimated total damages in the $4,000 range, maybe more if the owner of the fifth car shows up.

The case will likely be handled by juvenile authorities, but Davison has some hope that he will be compensated.

“We’re putting in for restitution. The kids, their parents, somebody’s got to pay for it,” said Campbell.

The damage may be worse than estimated. “I may have to repaint the whole car, it’s special paint,” said Davison.

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