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Holiday lights of police vandalized


Westminster police did not have to go out to look for crime Monday morning. It came to them.

Maj. James Melvin Austin was proud of the new police headquarters building when officers officially moved into it just one month ago.

So, he decorated three 3-foot-high evergreen trees in front of the white brick structure with Christmas lights last week.

But when the major went to work Monday, he found that someone had cut the string of lights on one of the decorated trees.

He filed an official report alleging malicious destruction of property.

City police officers who worked over the weekend apparently did not notice the damage on the tree because they use a side door to enter the building.

Police said the lights were glowing late Sunday and apparently were cut before daybreak Monday.

The loss was estimated at $20.

So far, police have no suspects in the vandalism.

But they noted yesterday that the penalty for destroying police property could involve jail time and a fine if the culprits are caught and convicted.

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