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Vandals hit LCRD office again
Armory, law office also targeted
Vandals drove a Hummer, parked at the National Guard Armory, through a maintenance building, plowing down the walls and surrounding fence. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
Just a week after being burglarized and vandalized, the Liberty County Recreation Department’s administrative office was hit again Tuesday night or Wednesday morning by vandals who broke the front door glass and shattered an interior glass wall. The vandals also targeted the National Guard Armory building and the law firm of Osteen and Osteen.
According to a police report obtained from the Hinesville Police Department, officer Ivan Saez was dispatched to the law office after an alarm was activated. Saez and another officer arrived just before 5 a.m. and found a broken window. Saez said a window pane had been kicked from its frame onto the floor, tipping over a podium The screen was still in place. The officers checked the building but found no suspect. Co-owner Joel Osteen arrived at the office and verified that nothing appeared to be missing.
Just before his shift ended at 6 a.m., Officer Frank Gallup noticed the front door of the National Guard Armory had been smashed open. At 6:15 a.m. Officer Victor Maldonado patrolled the area and noticed the front door of the LCRD administrative office also was smashed in. The two are next to each other on Oglethorpe Highway.
According to HPD Chief of Detectives Maj. Thomas Cribbs, officials still are finalizing the incident report for the armory damages. But the vandals reportedly took one of the guard’s Hummers and drove it through the facility, damaging a roll-up door in the rear of the building. They also drove through a maintenance building, ripping through the walls of the structure and damaging two sections of the bordering fence. Inside the building, vandals damaged a vending machine and trophy case.
At the LCRD building, Maldonado reported he thought vandals used a water meter box cover to shatter the front door. The officer found it on a counter inside the building. According to the report, the cover had glass fragments on it.
The officer said an interior glass wall was shattered and the rear door appeared to have been pushed open while still latched. A laptop computer was damaged and trophies in the front office were broken or smashed.
Last week, the office and the Shuman Center were burglarized. The offenders made off with nearly $2,000 in cash and several other items.
“They didn’t take anything this time, just did some damage,” LCRD Director Jimmy Martin said.
On Wednesday afternoon, Martin said his employees were working on repairs when they spotted a man climbing into an apartment window at the Regency Apartment complex, which is adjacent to Liberty Independent Troop Park. Martin called the police and the man was apprehended.
Cribbs confirmed Ziah Trimm, 19, was arrested and charged with burglary. Cribbs said officials suspect whoever was responsible for damaging the LCRD office and the armory also is responsible for the damage at Osteen and Osteen. The incidents are still under investigation.
Martin said Trimm was arrested a year ago for painting graffiti on park walls.
In an unrelated incident, one juvenile was apprehended and two others are being investigated after they allegedly stole a Cadillac from the YMCA parking lot shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday.
According to a police report, Jesus Estrada was working out and placed his car keys under a weight bench. He moved to another weight machine and within minutes realized he left his keys by the first bench. When he saw his keys were missing he asked the front desk attendant if anyone had turned them in. Estrada checked outside and his car was gone.
He called police and his wife. She spotted her husband’s vehicle with three juveniles inside and followed the car.  She said the juveniles crashed the car into a ditch and fled on foot.
A witness at the YMCA was able to provide a description of the suspects and one was apprehended.
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