Vandals strike business, causes
damage to facility, vehicles

November 26, 1999
Santa Paula Police Department
Santa Paula Police investigators are looking into a major case of vandalism that occurred sometime over the weekend and did up to $100,000 damage to a business facility and its vehicles. It was sometime after 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20th that someone got into the vehicle storage yard of D.W. Burhoe Construction in the Lemonwood Industrial Park just east of Santa Paula.Once inside the yard the vandals drove a Peterbilt truck-tractor and smashed it through the locked main gate and drove it down to the nearby bank of the Santa Clara River.Also driven to the riverbank were two one-ton trucks and a pickup truck, all property of the construction firm.Once all the vehicles were driven to the riverbed the vandals destroyed them as much as possible - including staging collisions - before trying to set them on fire.The four vehicles were discovered by a man walking his dog by the riverbed on Sunday morning at about 7:30 a.m.“Once they had their hands on the trucks they just smashed them together,” in the form of a destruction derby, said Carol Burhoe of D.W. Burhoe Construction. “The Peterbilt and the fence they drove it through looked like pretzels. . .”
Doug Burhoe had worked Saturday until 5:30 p.m., she said, and a neighboring business had an employee on its premises until 9:30 p.m. “Obviously, the trucks were taken after everyone working in the area was gone.”Overall, the vandals did “just an incredible amount of damage,” Burhoe added, up to $100,000 to the trucks and facility. “That’s what we estimate, but it depends on what the insurance carrier comes up with, but that’s our gut feeling,” of the damage total. “It’s one of those times that I wish we had a junk yard dog,” now a real possibility for future investment, Burhoe noted.Santa Paula Police Department Commander Mark Hanson said the incident was particularly destructive: “I understand of the vehicles was totaled,” he said. “They apparently were just driving into each other and caused a lot of damage,” he noted.Det. Daryl Koranda of the SPPD Major Crime Unit is overseeing the investigation into the incident and is asking anyone with any information to call him at 933-4239. Anonymous tips are welcome.



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