Poland cops search for school parking lot vandal


POLAND

Village police are searching for the man who punctured tires on 15 cars in a school parking lot.

Police responded around 1 p.m. Friday to the back parking lot of McKinley Elementary, located behind the police station on Cortland Street, and found that 14 cars had one tire punctured and that one car in front of Poland Middle School on College Street also had a tire damaged.

McKinley Elementary and Poland Middle School are one complex with a connector between the two buildings.

“They were pretty much all teachers’ vehicles,” said police Chief Russell Beatty.

Beatty said a surveillance tape from the front of the middle school shows a tall male wearing a dark jacket and blue jeans crouch down by a car and then take off running north on College Street.

He added that the police had already increased patrols because of a threat scrawled in the women’s bathroom of Walmart on Doral Drive March 13 that said, “I will kill everyone at Poland Middle School.”

“We’ve been paying more attention to the school. We literally drive by there 20 times a day,” Beatty said.

Superintendent Robert Zorn said since the incident, he has asked Beatty in writing to increase police surveillance of the area.

He also has asked the middle school principal to research prices of an upgraded security camera to replace the one on the front of the building, and is considering installing a camera in the back parking lot.

“To get that in Poland, in broad daylight, was very surprising and unusual. I can’t figure it out. This isn’t a teenager, and nobody is expelled or suspended right now” in the district, Zorn said.

He noted that this type of vandalism is very rare on school property.

“...In my tenure at Poland, this is the only case of vandalism against teachers in about 20 years. Twenty years ago somebody keyed a teacher’s car,” Zorn said.

Anyone with information is asked to call village police.

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