Vandals cause $300,000 worth of damage at Spokane Valley development site
SPOKANE, Wash. — Vandals caused an estimated $300,000 worth of damage to a local developer’s equipment. He’s calling it eco-terrorism.
George Paras, who owns Paras Homes, said he rents out excavators and found nearly all of them damaged Wednesday morning at the Valley Springs Development site in Spokane Valley.
“They’ve cut every wire to almost everything,” Paras said. “Everything that runs everything, the wires have been cut.”
In 40 years of building homes in Spokane, Paras has never seen anything like this. His workers believe the minimal damage to all the vehicles is $100,000. This doesn’t include loss wages, a delay in production and replacing the vehicles. Paras believes it would be up to $300,000 with some of those factors.
This is not the first time he has found damaged equipment at the site. About a month ago, one vehicle had its wires cut out.
“We thought we had it behind us and now they basically disabled all these vehicles you see here,” Paras said.
Two weeks later, graffiti was found. One said “tree killer” and the other read “forest rapist.”
“It’s someone who just doesn’t like development,” Paras said.
He believes the vandals are frustrated about future developments near the Beacon Hill bike trails. He said his company plans to build in that area in the future and, though it might be upsetting to some, said he went through the county for approval and a mountain bike organization to work around the bike trails.
“The Evergreen bike club is ecstatic that these trails are preserved, that we did for them,” Paras explained.
4 News Now contacted Evergreen East, the mountain bike club. President Chris Conley said Paras did work with them and the county. Conley said the trails will remain, and it will still say connected from one side of the park to the other. Conley said they’ll have to make some connectivity adjustments, but is happy with the outcome.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office assessed the damage at the site on Wednesday and has launched an investigation.
According to Corporal Mark Gregory with the Sheriff’s Office, this kind of crime would be considered malicious mischief at the least, a felony. He said other charges could be added.
“Maybe someone in the greater Northwood area knows someone maybe does this and turns them in and we stop it,” Paras said. “I just hope this is a thing that doesn’t keep happening in Spokane. We have a lovely community here.”
If you saw anything suspicious near Columbia Drive and Scenic Lane, you’re asked to call Crime Check and reference case number 10127340.
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