by Reed White
LA VETA— Since October 2012, over a dozen tires have been slashed, primarily in the Ryus Street area near La Veta Park. The slashed tires, in most cases, were in relatively new condition and had to be replaced at significant expense.
In October 2012, a vandal slashed all four tires on the truck owned by a woman who requested to remain anonymous. Following that in December, four more tires were slashed on Hannah Flagg’s truck. Being concerned that the tire-slasher was still at large, Ms. Flagg setup a surveillance camera on January 4. The camera was stolen that same evening. In the same month, the owners of the La Veta Loco experienced a tire slashing on their truck.
Since October, Hannah Flagg had been repeatedly harassed by La Veta males ranging in age from teens to near 60. She observed that the harassers were often seen fraternizing with each other, as members of a common group. In one of the more serious incidents, the exterior of her residence was sprayed with graffiti that included sexist slurs. Besides having fears about her physical welfare, she worried that she could not afford the loss of another set of new tires.
Brent and Barbara Seawell kindly offered their garage for protection. Feeling some relief, Ms. Flagg moved her truck to Seawell’s garage on February 13. On March 22, Brent Seawell drove into his garage to find all four new tires on Hannah Flagg’s truck again slashed and flat on the garage floor.
At La Veta’s most recent town board meeting, Barbara Seawell addressed the trustees with her concerns. After recounting the six-month series of violations and their threat to community safety, she summarized by saying, La Veta “has been a wonderful town,” but “maybe it is time for people to start locking their doors.” Marshal Younger commented that “progress is being made.”
Citizens with information about the unlawful acts should contact Marshal Younger at 742-3344. If their information leads to a conviction, they will be eligible for a $1000 reward that is being offered by a concerned La Veta resident.