Three Belmont County Veterans Office Vehicles Damaged; Police Searching for Suspect

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 Police in Belmont County are looking for a suspect after the tires of six vehicles, including three Veterans Office vehicles, were slashed early Sunday morning in Bellaire. Now, the men and women who sacrificed their lives, who need daily medical treatment are without transportation to their appointments.

“Serving Those Who Served” is the motto at the Belmont County Veterans Office, but holding true to that will be difficult for the next few days, after a vandal sliced the tires on the their transportation vans..

“We have cameras on the back of our building that did get a shot of the person doing this,” said Cindy Maupin, the Belmont County Veteran’s Office Director. 

In surveillance video, the suspect stabs the tires and moves down a line of vehicles until each one in the path has been struck. The vandal then vanished into the alley.  

Three out of their four vans are now out of commission, but they are not the only ones suffering a loss. Three other cars in the parking lot also had their tires slashed. One of the drivers at the office takes a transport van home often since he makes early-morning trips. Now, the office only has one van left to operate all of the veterans who rely on their services.

“When someone is getting cancer treatments, it’s critical that they get to these appointments everyday, and when we’re down to three days this week. We went today with one van, we’ll go tomorrow with one van and that’s it,” Maupin said.

One of the vans the office uses is county-owned, so they got clearance from the county maintenance supervisor to go ahead and have it serviced. The other two vans are owned by the federal government, and they’re still waiting on the police report to submit to get those vehicles repaired. “Once we get the police report we have to fax the towing amount, the amount its going to cost to get the tires put on and a copy of that report and then Pittsburgh will give us permission to have the vans towed to get them fixed. It could take days,” Maupin said.

Maupin said she is not sure when the vehicles will be back in service, but they are working to do all they can to get operations back as quickly as possible.

Anyone with information on the crime can call the anonymous Lauttaumus Security Crime Fighters tip line at 1-800-223-0312.

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