Ever since the Happy Garage artwork was installed at Winona and Ravenswood a few years ago, it’s gotten some attention. “I always see, on a regular basis, people coming and taking photos. Some people post them on Instagram,” said owner Brian Westphal. Brian Westphal and his husband Michael McVickar own the Happy Garage, an art installation portraying lots of hearts and personified hearts in many colors, painted by Chicago artist Chris Uphues. Westphal said on Sunday morning at about 2 a.m., a group of people ripped off a piece of the art. “Yeah, it’s just sad. I mean, just appreciate it. I don’t understand what anyone would get out of damaging something that looks so happy,” Westphal said. Westphal has security video of the suspects and he’s contacted police. “We have no expectation they’ll be caught, but we just want people to be aware it wasn’t something that was through age. It was a deliberate act.” Westphal said hours later, a neighbor found the ripped piece of art in someone’s yard and placed it in Westphal’s yard. More surveillance photos can be found on EveryBlock.
MODESTO (CBS13) – An investigation into whether drones helped thieves steal property from farms in Stanislaus County is underway.
According to the Stanislaus Sheriffs Department, two farms in Hughson had vehicles stolen in the last week. In one case, the victim says they were targeted just minutes after a drone flew overhead.
“It’s really kind of scary. I hate to see that happen in an ag community,” said farmer Martin Pohl.
Pohl says farmers in this region are already on alert, working to protect their properties and valuable commodities from thieves, but the possible use of drones is what’s alarming.
“It circled over our entire place. Our employees saw it and thought it was strange, and then an hour later, our pickup was stolen,” he said.
Pohl has owned his almond ranch in Hughson for decades, and securing his property with fences and guards has been key. But on Saturday night, just shy of midnight, thieves got in and stole his company pick-up truck.
“The truck was actually hooked up to a field elevator, and the guy that stole it also unbolted it and drove off with it,” he said.
But just minutes before the vehicle was taken, employees reported seeing a drone hovering over their ranch.
“The potential for the drone to be watching over us seeing how our operation works, then within 30 minutes after that our truck was stolen out of our yard with our boys working the night shift is disturbing,” said daughter in law Kelly Kindle-Pohl.
“They seemed to know where everything was because it only took a couple minutes. It was perfectly timed, and they were able to drive out of the fence undetected,” she said.
A short time later, a private security company — Rank Investigation and Protection out of Modesto — found the truck engulfed in flames in a walnut orchard about a mile away.
“We just don’t know why…what was there to gain by taking a pick-up truck and burning it?” said Pohl.
Just two days prior, another ranch closeby also had a vehicle stolen.
“What rights do we have as farmers? It’s basically like an invasion of our privacy,” he said.
CHP and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department are now investigating. Meanwhile, the Pohl family wants to warn other farmers of this possible new twist to rural thefts.
“I think now instead of walking out to see who’s on your property you need to look up at the sky, and see what’s watching you,” said Kelly.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) — After overcrowding, trail graffiti, vandalism and other damage to Hanging Lake, the U.S. Forest Service is proposing visitor limits, fees and a mandatory shuttle program to help combat the crowds. Up to 1,200 visitors venture to the lake a day during the summer.
The Forest Service released their proposed plan for the area in Glenwood Canyon on Tuesday morning. The public now has 30 days for comment.
The proposed plan looks to limit the number of visitors to the area to 615 people per day as part of a reservation, fee-based program.
During peak summer months from May 1 through Oct. 31, a third party vendor would operate a shuttle to the trail, eliminating the parking issues that plague the popular spot.
The proposed plan is now subject to a 30-day public comment period.
The Forest Service is also working with Federal Highway Administration to remove the Hanging Lake rest stop from an emergency pull-off designation.
Additional Information from the U.S. Forest Service:
Specific written comments on the proposed project will be accepted until midnight, Sept. 21, 2017, or 30 calendar days following publication of this notice in the Vail Daily. The publication date in the Vail Daily, the newspaper of record, is the exclusive means for calculating the comment period. The regulations prohibit extending the length of the comment period.
Written comments must be submitted via mail, fax, electronically, or in person (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays) to Aaron W. Mayville, District Ranger, o/c Paula K. Peterson, Project Leader, P.O. Box 190, Minturn, CO 81645, FAX: 970-827-9343, Electronic comments including attachments can be submitted to https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/Public//CommentInput?Project=50479.
ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — Five teenage boys are in custody on hate crime charges for vandalizing two schools in Roseville with racist and hate-filled messages that included swastikas, the KKK symbol, and the N-word.
The graffiti has been cleaned up at both schools, but Roseville police say the graffiti was so vulgar and so derogatory, that they believe it was it done to instill fear into those going to school and those who live nearby. “You are just speechless. You just can’t believe it. It’s just disgusting.” That’s how Kevin Schumacher, the lead custodian at Buljan Middle School, described the graffiti. He was the first to discover it as he came to work Sunday morning.
Roseville police say the teenage boys, all of whom are white, broke into the school around 1 a.m. on Sunday through a door that was being repaired. That got them into the gym, which they vandalized with a fire extinguisher. They then went onto to graffiti the locker room and a back office, breaking windows and stealing a cash box. “(They) spray-painted hateful things and some derogatory things on the portables in the back,” explained Lt. Doug Blake with Roseville PD. He said the graffiti was “significant and extensive,” as well as incredibly offensive.
“If you saw on face-value what was painted here. I think it is sufficient in and of itself to say it was one of the worst crimes, something that we just don’t tolerate on any level,” said Lt. Blake, who said they also found what was described as “Northern Hispanic-type gang tagging.” He says the five juveniles do not live in the area. They were identified by police based on previous police encounters.
“Based on that previous experience, (an) officer decided to go see if those kids may have been involved, or knew who could have been involved, something along those lines, and then one thing lead to another, and we got them in custody,” explained Lt. Blake.
Police found some of the stolen property at the home where the kids were staying, the spray cans used and even paint on their hands.
But for Schumacher, who had spent the whole cleaning up the campus, he says his bigger concern is that the racist messages came from young kids. “Where are they getting this from?” asked Schumacher.
The five suspects were booked into juvenile hall for vandalism, conspiracy, burglary and hate crime charges.
Police say they will now try to figure out their motive. “With five suspects we don’t know, and with some marginal cooperation, it’s going to be really tough for us to get down to the bottom of this, what they were doing, why they were doing it and what they sought to achieve,” admitted Lt. Blake.
ALAMEDA (CBS SF) — Windows at an Alameda synagogue were shattered by a rock-throwing vandal who was recorded on security cameras, authorities said Friday.
Temple Israel officials said the damage to two classroom windows was discovered early Thursday morning. By Friday, work crews had boarded up the shattered windows, but congregation members were still stunned by the attack.
“The congregation is wonderful,” said Linda Chase-Stoud, Temple Israel’s administrator. “They are very open and loving. I just don’t know what type of a person would want to do this.”
Congregational president Genevieve Pastor-Cohen has sent an email letter to members of the synagogue warning about the possibility of vandalism as a by-product of the kind of violence seen in Virginia last week.
“During our Weds. Aug 16th Board of Directors meeting, we discussed the possibility of our synagogue being a target in our small town of Alameda especially with the ongoing expression of bigotry and anti-Semitism,” the email read in part. “It breaks my heart and soul to be exposed to this type of mindless and senseless action especially aimed at the community I (we) love.”
There was no immediate cost estimate of what it will take to repair the damage.
The Alameda Police said they were not investigating the vandalism as a hate crime because there was no anti-semitic graffiti associated with it.
Investigators have taken into evidence one of the rocks used and have surveillance camera video of the vandal.
The congregation was set to hold a vigil Friday night at 7 p.m. at the synagogue. Several hundred people were expected to attend.