Friday, February 23, 2018

Broken brick lies in the Hardin Historic Depot Monday morning after it was thrown through a window sometime during the weekend. A series of buildings were vandalized and, though Big Horn County Sheriff Frank Simpson has no “active suspects,” he recovered ballistics evidence from one of the sites.

Downtown Hardin businesses damaged by vandalism


What led to a string of vandalism over the weekend? It’s a mystery to Big Horn County Sheriff Frank Simpson.

“Full moon, maybe?” he said from a table at the Sheriff’s Office. “I don’t know.”

Sometime between Friday and Monday morning, vandals in Hardin knocked out windows at the Historic Hotel Becker Bed & Breakfast and Historic Depot, stole a small amount of money from a drop box at the city landfill after prying a door open, and fired four shots through the window of the Cabel Noteboom Photography building.

The city’s post office personnel were also surprised to find an extra bullet hole in one of their windows on Friday morning. While bullet holes in local windows aren’t unheard of – the post office has several already – this is the first time Postmaster Craig Hazen has seen a new one since beginning his job five years ago.

“A couple of weeks before this happened, we did have somebody put graffiti or a tag mark on our door,” he said. “I’m not sure if things are starting to happen now.”

Over the weekend, according to Simpson, “nobody heard anything.” It’s unknown whether the events were connected.

On Monday morning, the Sheriff’s Office received their first call from the Hotel Becker. Standing near a window newly boarded by plywood, owner Mary Slattery encouraged city citizens to “step up” and be more vigilant in regards to these incidents.

“People just need to be more aware,” she said. “People don’t pay attention.”

Though she didn’t believe the actions were done by roaming children, Slattery said “one of the best things” the city could do to keep them occupied would be to build a skate park.

In the meantime, Simpson said deputies were investigating the incidents.

They don’t have “active suspects” at present, he said, but they have recovered ballistics evidence from the Noteboom building.