Vandals strike overnight leaving more than graffiti behind

Vandals strike overnight leaving more than graffiti behind
By: CJ Cassidy
Oran, MO - You may remember our stories headlining the disputes between Oran police and a group of disgruntled residents.
Now a rash of vandalism, appears to be directed towards police.
Chief Mark Traggeser says the vandals probably struck between four and six Tuesday morning when the police department was closed.
Investigators have some suspects; they say several people worked together to leave their handiwork in many places.
Many victims believe the vandals were trying to leave a message for police in Oran. This time they say, they went too far.
"Her tires were slashed and her rearview mirror on the side was gone," Kelley Prochak says. Her daughter wasn't the only victim of vandalism.
Someone spray painted her neighbor's car with obscenities and damaged another teen's car in her driveway.
"I was so shocked. This was a quiet town. This is Oran. It really hurts," Prochak says.
She's not the only one feeling the pain.
Leaders at Oran's Elementary School quickly cleaned up the mess on their property. Others say it will cost them thousands to repaint their walls to cover up obscene words.
"Whoever did this is getting back at the cop because a lot of the spray painting done was towards the police department," Ronnie Diebold says.
Even the Chief agrees. One of his own cruiser's had its tires slashed.
"This doesn't make police run. It makes us want to do our job," Chief Tragesser says.
Most victims hope that means catching the vandals red handed or in this instance, gold handed.
They might as well face it. The policeman's going to be here. If they don't do wrong he's not going to be on your butt," Prochak says.
And despite the ugliness tainting Oran, victim's like Prochak haven't lost their sense of humor.
"Whoever is doing it needs to know how to spell, because H-O-E is like a hoe in the garden isn't it?" she asks wryly.
The Chief tells me the suspects could face charges for tampering with vehicles and property damage among others.
He also hopes this incident shows residents just how important it is to have a police department that's manned 24 hours a day.
If you have any information you think might help, call the Oran Police Department at (573) 262-3533.