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Vandals target tires over weekend

BEMIDJI — The Bemidji Police Department is investigating two reports of weekend vandalism.

Calls of vehicles with slashed tires began coming in Saturday morning. Bemidji Police Captain James Marcotte said 16 cars were vandalized on the 2300 block of Calihan Avenue and Birchmont Drive.

Police received a description of a suspect and timeline after a witness saw a post asking for information on the BPD’s newly launched Facebook page.

The individual or individuals responsible is facing felony property damage charges, officials said.

A second report of vandalism was reported outside Morell’s Chippewa Trading Post on Bemidji Avenue. Artist Deborah Davis’ controversial “Gaea” statue was ripped from her steel platform.

A store employee found Gaea on Sunday. Chips of paint are missing from Gaea’s forehead and the sculpture sustained a crack. Gaea is in Al Belleveau’s “protective custody” at the present time. Belleveau, who heads up Bemidji’s art walk, said Gaea should be able to be repaired.

“This is the seventh incident of vandalism to sculptures on the walk since June,” Belleveau said. “A little higher than usual.”

The last act of vandalism involved a statue being decapitated a couple weeks ago.

The two incidents do not appear to be related.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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