GOLD BEACH - Police are looking for both the culprit and the community's help for the victims after someone slashed 34 tires on 11 vehicles parked behind the Gold Beach High School Saturday.
Many of the vehicles belonged to members of the high school basketball team, which had taken a bus to play a game in Glide.
The team returned from the game about 4 a.m. Saturday to find the tires had been slashed on vehicles that players, coaches and volunteers had parked on school property.
GBHS senior Tanner Sharp, 18, found that all four tires on his car had been slashed. At school Monday, Sharp was still trying to understand the mind-set of the vandal.
"I was in tears; confused. Why would someone do something like this? There is no monetary gain in it," he said. "It's just terrible to do this senseless thing."
Dennis Johnson, Central Curry superintendent and principal at Gold Beach High, said most of the damaged vehicles were parked to the side and behind the campus. The school, he said, is working with police in an attempt to find the culprits.
He said all four tires on the vehicle of an assistant coach were damaged, totaling a loss of $1,200.
"It's really a shame to have this happen," Johnson said. "Some parents will have (insurance) deductibles that cover this sort of thing but many don't."
He added, "I doubt the school's insurance will address it. It's particularly troubling because, for some families, these damaged vehicles are the only car the family has."
Gold Beach Police Chief Dixon Andrews estimated the total damage was between $8,000 and $10,000.
Andrew's department is currently reviewing videotapes of the surrounding crime scene area in order to help discover the identity of the slasher. No other cars in the community were damaged that night, he said.
"Talk about a long night," said Andrews, explaining that "First, it's a 7-hour round-trip to Glide, not counting the games. Then the school bus breaks down and another is sent to rescue the team, and they don't roll in until 4 a.m., only to be greeted by this."
Andrews said the incident has caused a devastating financial hardship for many of the players, coaches and other school volunteers."
The school district, he said, was working with a local bank to establish a fund to accept donations to defray the cost of replacing the tires.
trying to establish a way to handle public donations to benefit the victims.
Meanwhile, anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the Gold Beach Police Department at 541-247-6671. Anonymous tips can be provided through Curry County Crime Stoppers' reward program at 888-974-0000.