Vandals make mess inside Menards store
Hundreds of gallons of paint spilled on concrete floor.
BY ANGIE HAFLICH
Garden City police are trying to determine who was responsible for the extensive vandalism over the weekend at the Menards construction site.
According to the Garden City Police Department, officers responded to Menards, 1110 Lareu Road, at about 8:58 a.m. Sunday in response to a report about damage at the property.
The initial investigation determined someone entered the business through an unlocked door between 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. According to police, the unknown suspect(s) used two forklifts to spill 86 five-gallon and 11 one-gallon containers of industrial paint throughout the store, damaging about 25,000 square feet of concrete flooring.
Wayne Frasier, Superintendent of McConnell Excavating, Oberlin, Ohio, said that concrete crews discovered the damage and that while the doors were unlocked, it appeared that the suspect(s) actually pushed open a locked door that was off its hinges. He said the door was undamaged.
Frasier said that it also appeared that the suspect(s) struck two columns supporting the roof with one of the forklifts and that this could have caused the roof to collapse.
One forklift sustained damage to one of the forks and cage and the other had paint covering the front end but the seat was clean, which Frasier said indicated that the driver possibly got paint all over him or her.
Some of the paint spilled onto the floor was an extremely thick, dark outdoor paint called Pithane, which Frasier said is difficult to clean off.
"It's not something they're going to wash off or be able to get out of their shoes real easily, especially that black stuff there because that stays gooey forever," he said.
In addition to the forklifts, Frasier said, it appeared the suspect(s) drove a scrubber/sweeper through the paint, but that the machine itself didn't sustain any damages.
Internal furnishings, including overhead lights, also were damaged.
According to police, the suspect(s) also lit cardboard boxes on fire inside the building.
According to police, an exact estimate of the damage is unknown and could range between $30,000 and $300,000, depending on whether the paint can be removed from the concrete. Frasier said they won't have an exact damage estimate until the estimator and structural engineer perform inspections.
"The estimator is coming in, but if they have to replace the two columns, that will be $100,000. If they have to replace the floor, that will be another probably $100,000. If they don't and we can clean it all up and get a lot of this out of there, then we're home free. It's just a lot of hours it's going to take," he said.
Frasier said that his company's portion of the job was supposed to be completed Feb. 15, and if the columns and concrete have to be replaced, extra manpower and extra hours will be required in order to stay on schedule.
"Let's put it this way. Menards doesn't get delayed. They'll find a way. They'll bring people in if they have to. Right now, starting tomorrow, the temps that I have will be working until we get it all cleaned up, so if they have to work around the clock, they will," Frasier said, adding that he expects clean up to take until at least Friday.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Garden City Police Department at 276-1300. Anyone who wishes to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 275-7807, or text GCTIP with tip information to 847411 (tip411).