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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Tower City Hall vandalized

Labor Day weekend break-in under investigation

David Colburn
Posted 9/9/20

TOWER- Shattered glass, tripped electrical breakers, toppled furniture, and a trail of blood smears greeted city officials here early Sunday morning as they surveyed the chaos that resulted from an …

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Tower City Hall vandalized

Labor Day weekend break-in under investigation

Posted

TOWER- Shattered glass, tripped electrical breakers, toppled furniture, and a trail of blood smears greeted city officials here early Sunday morning as they surveyed the chaos that resulted from an overnight break-in at Tower City Hall.
Tower Mayor Orlyn Kringstad said he received a call at 5:24 a.m. Sunday from Breitung Police Deputy Jason Sanderson.
“He said, ‘Sorry to wake you up in the middle of the night, but somebody has broken into City Hall,’” Kringstad said. “He said he was in the process of securing the building, but he thought I should come in.”
It was clear from the outside that things were amiss when Kringstad arrived.
“There were tables from D’Erick’s laying around on the grass, and there was a bunch that were moved and barricaded in front of the doors, including one of the big heavy wooden picnic tables that was leaning up against the door farthest to the west,” Kringstad said.
A heavy bench that sits on the sidewalk had been moved onto the landing by the front door of city hall, and the glass main entry door had been kicked in, Kringstad said.
Once inside, one or more vandals went to work causing a variety of damage on the city hall’s lower level. Plastic bags were stuffed in toilets in the men’s and women’s restrooms, which were then flushed, flooding the floors. Furniture was moved around, and a door frame was damaged.
“A door that goes down to what I would call the ‘dungeons’ of the city hall, that lock there was jimmied and the molding around the door was broken so they were trying to get down into the lower level,” Kringstad said.
Kringstad also speculated that whoever was in the building also may have gone into D’Erick’s, as the interior door was propped open.
All of the circuit breakers in the electrical panel had been shut off, and the elevator was stopped about four or five inches below floor level, Kringstad said. The electricity outage caused the city’s internet connection to drop, and it wasn’t restored until Tuesday morning.
There was no evidence that anyone had gotten into the office area, and nothing appeared to be stolen, according to Kringstad.
Kringstad said that Sanderson discovered blood on the breaker box, on light switches, on a wall, on the floor, and outdoors on a discarded whiskey bottle, and that he collected samples to be analyzed. Kringstad said he hoped the results would identify who was in the building.
“Otherwise it’s going to be difficult to prove who had actually done the damage,” he said. “As far as I know, there are two immediate persons of interest.”
Attempts to contact Breitung Police for additional information were unsuccessful before press time.

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