Share this article

print logo

Vandalism prompts Newfane to organize Meeting set tonight to form watch group

Residents in this hamlet have had enough of graffiti, slashed tires, eggs smashed on their vehicles and, in some cases, thousands of dollars in thefts or property damage.

With help from police, they are preparing to crack down on teenagers out late at night breaking the law -- and they plan to start tonight by forming a neighborhood watch group.

Those interested in participating should gather at 7 p.m. in Newfane Town Hall, 2896 Transit Road,

Residents of Countryside Mobile Home Park have been hard hit in recent weeks and are organizing the meeting, but the problems go well beyond their borders.

A man on the 3900 block of Lockport-Olcott Road said he heard his vehicle being started just after 2 a.m. Wednesday and ran outside to find two young boys trying to drive off. Luckily the car stalled while the boys tried to back out, police said.

The victim described the driver as about 15 years old and the passenger 12 or 13. Police found a pair of slippers left by one of the boys while fleeing.

A few minutes earlier, a neighbor on Lockport-Olcott Road reported hearing two male voices and discovering that someone had broken into her car. Only a flashlight was taken, she said.

Monday, two reports were received from the 2700 block of Main Street with eggs and pizza thrown on one car and a PlayStation Portable, valued at $250, stolen from another.

Two nights last week, vandalism was reported in the Countryside Homes Park and along Main Street.

Eggs were thrown on vehicles; a fire extinguisher was sprayed into a gas tank; and tires punctured. Things were more serious on Main Street, where vandals damaged a park bench in the gazebo in front of Newfane Family Dentistry and smashed a soft drink machine in front of the Shur Fine grocery on North Main Street. Fourteen cans were stolen, and damage was estimated at $400.

At Countryside Homes, five decorative light poles were pulled off their foundations, resulting in damage of $1,500.

Ronald C. Stores, manager of the mobile home park, said he and residents suspect teens living in the park.

Niagara County Sheriff Chief Deputy Christopher J. Carlin said the investigation was at the critical stage and deputies have some promising leads.

"It's absolutely frustrating for people," he said. "We didn't call the meeting, but we will talk about being proactive. If we end up arresting these kids, we don't want to see the block club go away. These problems will occur again. They'll need to be in it for the long run if they want to address the quality of life in Newfane."

Carlin said parents also need to be held accountable for children who are out at night causing trouble.

"There are things for kids to do, but they sleep all day and are out prowling all night," he said.

Carlin also said that those arrested are likely to face felony charges for causing damage exceeding $250.

"This stuff has been going on for quite awhile," he said, "and they will probably face multiple counts of charges."


There are no comments - be the first to comment