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Vandals make for ugly fall days

Kay Anderson, a secretary at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, looks at the vandalism on the church’s bus for the first time Wednesday afternoon. In early  September Anderson’s car was also vandalized and her purse was stolen while she was in a swimming class at the Island Athletic Club, Freeland. - Jennifer Conway / staff photo
Kay Anderson, a secretary at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, looks at the vandalism on the church’s bus for the first time Wednesday afternoon. In early September Anderson’s car was also vandalized and her purse was stolen while she was in a swimming class at the Island Athletic Club, Freeland.
— image credit: Jennifer Conway / staff photo

Vandals stole more than Kay Anderson’s purse earlier this month. They trespassed, violated her personal property and took her feelings of security.

Looking back on the incident, which occurred Sept. 2, she said she has definitely learned a lesson.

“Your trust of people diminishes, even on Whidbey Island,” Anderson said this week.

Anderson said on that morning, she and her husband went to the Island Athletic Club in Freeland. Sometime while she was in swimming class between 9:30 and 11 a.m. a vandal broke a side window on her locked car, reached in and grabbed her purse, which was sitting in plain view on the floor.

Anderson said the one thing the thief didn’t get from the robbery was money. She said she didn’t have a single dollar in the wallet. After the robbery, she cancelled all of her credit cards and checks. But it will be a chore for her to replace the health and insurance cards, photos, address book, poetry and cosmetic bag that were also in her purse.

“You don’t have anything,” said Anderson. “All that was taken.”

In addition to the stolen items, Anderson said she also worries about identity theft. Not only was her Social Security card taken, but her 101-year-old mother’s Social Security card as well. She had it in her possession because Anderson is her legal guardian.

She said she and her husband spent approximately $400 to have the side window replaced.

Just across the street at Trinity Lutheran Church, vandals this week targeted the church’s small bus, which the church acquired in June. The Rev. Jim Lindus, the church’s pastor, said the bus was spray painted late Sunday night or early Monday morning.

“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Lindus said. “For the most part we’ve been pretty lucky.”

Langley resident Linda Abegglen Nevermann’s minivan was keyed on Monday evening, also in the Trinity Lutheran Church parking lot.

“I can’t think the way they think,” she said about vandals. “It’s beyond my comprehension.”

Abegglen Nevermann — who was directing a bell choir group that night — said a wavy design was scratched into the finish from the headlight down the length of the car on both sides of her minivan.

“They went right down to the metal,” said Abegglen Nevermann.

She said some of the paint could be buffed, but other parts of the minivan will need to be painted before it looks the way it was before the vandalism. It will cost approximately $500 to have the paint job fixed.

“I don’t know what I can do to prevent ruthless, senseless destruction,” Abegglen Nevermann said.

Monday appeared to be the worst bad day in a long time for vandalism crimes, according to the Island County Sheriff’s Office.

Two garden businesses reported they were also targeted, by vandals. Company trucks, vehicles and signs were spray painted, and gas was taken from a vehicle. The other garden business reported a spray foam had been put into the gas tank of a vehicle parked there overnight.

Late Monday, an Island Transit bus driver reported the bus shelter on Main Street had been spray painted by vandals.

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