Police: Security cameras, social media help identify vandalism suspects in Port Orchard
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. – Surveillance cameras caught two men destroying tables and decorations outside the Port Orchard Pavilion early Saturday morning.
The Pavilion’s manager posted the video online and in only a couple of days police arrested their suspects.
“It’s a real concern I think for us because we want people to see us in our best light,” said manager Joni Sonneman.
Sonneman said she and her employees try their best foot forward, making their building and downtown shine. But the surveillance video shows two strangers using their own feet to cause serious damage.
“When you work really hard to try to make it look nice and make a nice first impression, to have people destroying that is frustrating,” she said.
Around 5 a.m. on Saturday, cameras caught two men beating and kicking at the Pavilion’s decorations causing thousands of dollars in damage. It all happened right before a big party scheduled for Saturday night.
“We just have to scramble and get people in here early to clean it up,” said Sonneman.
Downtown business owners and customers said vandalism has been getting worse all summer long. Saturday’s smashing-spree has everyone talking.
“It’s just a violation for the whole town,” said business owner Bobbie Stewart. “It makes you feel like you’ve been violated.”
“This is supposed to be a small little place that doesn’t have a lot of crime in it,” said Port Orchard resident Jean Eggleston. “People work hard to make a living, it’s too bad this stuff has to happen.”
Sonneman posted the security footage online Saturday afternoon and by Monday police arrested two suspects.
Police arrested one man at the nearby marina Monday morning and investigators said the other suspect watched himself on the online video, and asked his mother drove him to the police station. Police arrested him, too.
Sonneman said the suspects would still be walking free had it not been for the new cameras and social media.
“I’ll be the poster child for why you should get video surveillance cameras,” said Sonneman.