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Vandals target inflatables

December 10, 2006|by CANDICE BOSELY

Whoever is doing it definitely is on the naughty list.

Someone is going around at night and slashing inflatable lawn ornaments, with police investigating about 25 such cases of vandalism in about the last week.

Many have been in the north end of Hagerstown, said Lt. Mark Knight, an investigator with the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Police don't have any suspects in these "attempted murders," and investigators don't know whether one or two people are responsible or whether some might be copycat crimes, Knight said.

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In at least one case, the throat area of a Santa Claus and a reindeer ornament were slashed, police have said.

Whoever is doing it is cutting the inflatable decorations with a knife or other sharp object. Because such decorations are made to be placed outdoors, the wind cannot be blamed for the tears in the decorations' fabric, Knight said.

He recommended that people unplug the decorations at night, meaning the vandals might not realize the inflatable item - no longer illuminated or inflated - is there, Knight said.

"They don't become a prime target" if they are deflated, Knight said.

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