Vandalism incidents multiply in Arboles

After six incidents of vandalism and, most recently, a burglary Tuesday night, Deborah Phillips, of Deb’s Good Eats in Arboles, is exasperated.

According to Phillips, vandals have shot out windows of a school bus parked on her property, blasted the vehicle with paintballs, damaged her business sign near the highway and, Tuesday, broke into her food trailer, stealing a laptop computer and a digital camera.

“I’m not happy today,” Phillips said Wednesday, who has endured the recurrent acts of vandalism since December of 2008 and who has criticized the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department for their slow response times and what she says is a lackluster investigation.

Sheriff department reports indicate deputies have visited Phillips, photographed damaged and followed what leads have been available. That said, incident details have been sparse, leaving deputies little to go on.

For example, the only ballistic evidence is BBs found inside the bus— apparently shot from an air rifle — and tire tracks in the snow from the sign damage incident this winter.

Archuleta County Undersheriff and Public Information Officer John Weiss said, unfortunately, no one, to date, has come forward with a vehicle description or other concrete leads.

But Phillips is not the only victim.

According to law enforcement reports, in February 2008, vandals using a BB or pellet rifle shot out the windows at the Lone Wolf Bar, also in Arboles. In January 2009, the windows of the Lakeview Country Store suffered similar damage by vandals.

Although there are no leads or suspects in the case, Weiss said, “The sheriff’s office takes all incidents seriously and we encourage residents to call any time they witness suspicious activity and to get involved with your local neighborhood watch.”

Photo courtesy Deborah Phillips
A school bus on the property of Deb’s Good Eats in Arboles sits splattered with paintballs and with numerous broken windows after vandals struck for the sixth time. Phillips reports thieves broke into her food trailer Tuesday night and stole a laptop computer and digital camera — thus marking the seventh incident on her property. Phillips has implored the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Department for help.