Vandals deface, destroy portable toilets; reward offered for information

Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2004

Vandals have taken their bathroom graffiti and destruction to the streets, at great cost to the owner of a portable toilet company.

"In the last 1112 years, it's cost me about $50,000," Carolyn Carey of Alpine portable toilets said Wednesday. She said she has lost about 20 portable toilets to fire.

Tuesday she reported four recent incidents to police. Two toilets were damage by excessive graffiti. One was burned. One was shot.

Carey said she will offer a $100 reward to anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of someone vandalizing one of her toilets. Most of her company's units are green, and most have the company number on decals stuck to the outside of the portable outbuildings.

"I try to do my best to keep them clean," she said. "This summer we've been running seven days a week."

But cleaning wasn't what was needed recently at False Outer Point, where the portable toilet was shot four times, Carey said.

"If somebody had been there, we would be talking about a murder," she said. The unit was there as a matter of convenience for anglers and picnickers, she said. "There's a lot of families there."

The portable unit leased from Alpine at Cope Park, near the Governor's House downtown, serves as an accessible handicapped facility, Carey said. But the unit will need to be replaced because of permanent scorching from fires set atop and next to the seat, Carey explained.

She said that unit will removed at the end of the month.

Two vandalism incidents were reported Tuesday, near Tongass Boulevard and near Glacier Highway, about 15 miles out of town.

"I'm guessing it's probably happening at night," Carey said.

She said she has been talking to police about surveillance and sometimes watches them herself.

Carey said she knows she isn't the only vandalism victim. One of her units is being rented for the athletic fields near Floyd Dryden Middle School, where fire damaged one of the restrooms beyond use. Capital City Fire and Rescue reported the fire was set in a trash can.

Ultimately, because vandalism increases her company's expenses, Carey said it will require raising prices to the renters of her portable toilets.

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