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Neighbors upset after night of vandalism at Useless Bay Colony

Some residents of Useless Bay Colony west of Bayview are hopping mad over a night of vandalism in their community last week.

“It’s just malicious mischief, but you hate to have it happen,” said Dick McGrath, one of the victims.

McGrath said that sometime late Friday, July 24 or early Saturday, July 25, someone caused a wave of destruction south of Useless Bay Golf & Country Club.

At least five properties were hit. Damage included the breaking of a child’s bicycle with training wheels, and the uprooting of a sign at one house and a lamp post at another. At another house, an ornamental tree was pulled out of the ground, and another was severely bent.

McGrath himself sustained damage to his newly planted vineyard. Vandals yanked the protective plastic tubing from around the base of 40 grapevines.

“It looked like a tornado passed through,” he said. “None of the stalks were broken. I think they’ll make it.”

McGrath said the incidents were reported to the Island County Sheriff’s Office. He also posted signs around the neighborhood seeking information from anyone who may have seen something that night.

So far, there have been no leads.

McGrath said he and his neighbors will urge their homeowners association to put some kind of neighborhood watch in place to discourage future incidents.

“Things like vandalism tend to escalate,” he said.

“I know. I was a little vandal myself.”

McGrath, 71, and his wife Charlotte Henke, moved into their newly-built home about a year ago after relocating from Seattle.

“We thought we didn’t have to bother with things like locking our doors here on the island,” he said. “All of a sudden, there’s this message that we have to be vigilant.”

He said he and the other victims are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest of the vandals.

Anyone with information on the incident can call McGrath at 331-1215 or the sheriff’s office at 360-679-7310.

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