‘Why take it out on innocent people?’: Watertown residents confused, furious after vandalism spree

Police in Watertown want the public’s help finding the people who went on a vandalism spree Tuesday night.

There are at least 12 spots in Watertown these people hit. In some spots, they smashed windows, and in others, they spray-painted signs and cars or slashed tires and keyed cars.

On Wednesday, Kevin Steinmetz was still picking up the mess the vandals left after they smashed the back window of his van. Where that glass was, he’s covered with a plastic bag. He’s also updated his security system.

“We talked about getting a dog again and more guns,” Steinmetz said. “This is crazy.”

Whoever smashed Steinmetz’s window didn’t appear to take much, if anything, but they made other stops along the way, including when they spray-painted a for-sale sign in front of a home and wrote crude language on the doors of storage units on Station Street.

Neal Larson’s 20-year-old Dodge pickup had been keyed from end to end.

“I’ve put my fair share of scratches in it, but never had anyone else put any for me,” Larson said. “It’s not right. If you got a problem with somebody, why take it out on innocent people?”

‘Why take it out on innocent people?’: Watertown residents confused, furious after vandalism spree

Watertown police have kept track of all the calls, and detectives think this is the work of kids, something that they say is becoming more common. They don’t believe it’s tied to recent and similar crimes in Madison and other nearby towns.

They want the public’s help getting evidence to know for sure.

“Look at the list we put out there,” said Capt. Ben Olsen, with the Watertown Police Department. “If you live in the area, take a look at your video and see if you have anything that may help us solve this.”

The people on the other end of the crime, like Steinmetz, don’t worry if this will happen again, or at least he doesn’t worry for himself.

“The police officer I talked to this morning said someone is going to get shot,” he said. “I said, ‘Hopefully it’s the bad guys.'”

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