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Kendallville cleaning up after vandals paint nearly 50 cars

Police said they've gotten of 48 reports of vehicles spray painted orange, that doesn't count the buildings and street signs that were also hit.

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 9:22 PM
Updated: Jun 24, 2019 10:29 PM

KENDALLVILLE, Ind. (WFFT) - People in Kendallville spent the weekend cleaning up after nearly 50 vehicles were damaged by vandals.

Police said they've gotten of 48 reports of vehicles spray painted orange, that doesn't count the buildings and street signs that were also hit.

"I was kind of horrified because I knew it was going to be a mess to clean up," said Marline Ritchie, who was one of many people cleaning their cars at Carriage House Apartments.

"I worked really hard. I had some carpet cleaner in my car. I just sprayed that on and scrubbed it," she said.

Ritchie said it took her about two and a half hours to get the paint off her car.

Police arrested Mark Keene II, 19, on one Criminal Mischief charge Sunday morning.

Officers said he was a passenger in an SUV with orange paint all over the inside.

They said Keene was using squirt guns to spray the paint across town.

"With this many vehicles, the possibility is they could be charged with 40 plus counts," said Kendallville Police Chief Rob Wiley.

The suspects in this case targeted just about anyone. Even a Kendallville police car was hit.

"The officer saw it pretty quickly after it occurred and was able to get pretty well washed off," Wiley said.

Wiley said this vandalism was larger than most cases, but they were able to stop it right away thanks to the partnership with the community.

"Just letting us know about something that's going on while it is occurring gives our officers an opportunity to respond," he said.

Ritchie said she's familiar with the teen accused of vandalizing her car.

"I'm sad this child has nothing betting to do with his time that he doesn't have any other interest or a job," she said.

Two other people were in the car when Keene was arrested. Wiley said they also have charges pending against them.

If you car was also vandalized, call the Kendallville Police Department at 260-347-0654 Ext 1.

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