Vandalism has no place here

We have no patience for vandals.

Often done for no other reason than the stupid thrill of doing something wrong, vandalism nonetheless harms the community.

When thugs deface public or private property, it makes the community seem unkempt at best and unsafe at worst, and that can turn off visitors and potential investors.

Tourists don’t want to spend money in places that seem unclean, disorganized, or like the kind of place where something bad might happen to them. And developers don’t want to open businesses in such places.

Vandalism makes our community look like that kind of place, even if it’s not.

That’s why it raised our ire to see two recent examples of vandalism here in Alpena.

First, scoundrels in mid-May tore up the new basketball courts near the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center. Then, just this past weekend, two women were caught on a security camera destroying the flower display placed outside of Sanctuary Cinema for the downtown Flower Festival and stealing an oversized popcorn box that was part of the display.

Police continue to investigate the basketball court destruction.

Police on Tuesday announced they’d found the two women suspected of vandalizing the Sanctuary Cinema Flower Fest display and recovered the oversized popcorn box.

Cinema owner Jeff Konczak said he plans to work with the Alpena County prosecutor to work out a deferred prosecution through which the women will not face charges if they keep their noses clean.

First, we congratulate police on their swift work locating the Sanctuary Cinema vandals and thank the community for their help in the investigation.

Second, we offer kudos to Konczak for his compassion. If Alpena County Prosecutor Cynthia Muszynski agrees to the deferred prosecution, it puts the women on notice that their behavior won’t be tolerated while still saving them from a future harmed by a criminal record.

Vandalism has no place in this community, and we urge anyone thinking of causing harm to our community to stop and think before they act. The few moments of thrill they get from the act harms the community in ways big and small for a long time, and it’s just not worth it.


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