Manchester to study changes in curfew to fight vandalism

May 11, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

Manchester's Town Council agreed last night to consider strengthening the town's curfew law after several Michelle Road residents complained about extreme cases of teen-age vandalism in their neighborhood.

The residents said their homes have been stoned and pelted with eggs, lamp posts have been destroyed, power tools have been stolen from vehicles and road signs have been bent in half.Those who spoke did not identify themselves to the council and declined later to give their names for fear of retaliation.

At one vacant home that was for sale, teen-agers broke in and cut all the interior doors in half with a chain saw, residents said.

"It's starting to get old," one resident said. "I'm not [feeling] real easy about leaving my wife and young daughter home alone."

The residents said the culprits appear to be a group of neighborhood children about 15 years old. Some have been seen crawling out their bedroom windows, neighbors said, but their parents have maintained their children were home all night.

"They're like vampires," said another resident of the youngsters. "I'm ready to put my house up for sale."

Residents said town police officers have been responsive, but are restricted by their schedules.

"This is more than a police problem," said Mayor Earl A. J. "Tim" Warehime. "This is a community problem."

Mayor Warehime agreed to investigate residents' suggestions to place a street light at the end of Michelle Road and strengthen the curfew, which for juveniles is at midnight on weekends and 11 p.m. during the week. Fines are $25 for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent violation.

The residents suggested an earlier curfew and higher fines.

"The quickest way to get parents to respond is to thin their wallets," one said.

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