File photo by Sue Misao

File photo by Sue Misao

By Ann McCreary

The Methow Valley Community Center has been the target of vandalism and attempted break-ins on three occasions during the past month. Manager Kirsten Ostlie said screens have been torn off windows at the back of the building in an apparent effort to get inside. The latest incident occurred last weekend, Ostlie said.

“Someone ripped screens off the back windows, and walked over to the Commons and threw them away,” Ostlie said.

In mid-August, someone inside the building or who had gained access entered some upstairs classrooms “and threw some things around,” Ostlie said.

Ostlie said the incident apparently didn’t cause any damage in the classrooms, but the community center has sustained repair costs as a result of damage to the screens. She said she is keeping windows closed to prevent entry.

“It’s a great time of year and we like to keep the windows open for fresh air, but we have to screw them shut,” Ostlie said.

In addition, graffiti appeared on the back of the building and on a garbage container. In another incident someone, apparently a juvenile, drew with permanent ink on the walls of the men’s bathroom, Ostlie said.

“I would love to put a shout-out for community members that this is your community center and we keep it clean and safe for you. We’d hate to have to put up surveillance cameras,” she said.

Ostlie said she has asked tenants and other regular users of the community center to be careful to make sure doors are locked if they leave after regular hours. She said the community could also help by watching for unusual activity around the community center and report it if they see it.

“If you notice anything or see people skulking around, take note and let me know who they are so we can nip this in the bud,” Ostlie said.