Transportation museum offering reward after latest vandalism

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. – Train cars at the Indiana Transportation Museum have been vandalized again. Now museum management is offering a $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest to put an end to the vandalism.

According to the Noblesville Police Department, three cars at the museum had windows broken out and electrical panels damaged.

Museum chairman John McNichols said the damage included between 15 to 20 windows, which will cost as much as $20,000 to replace.

“When something like this happens, where somebody goes and destroys a historical artifact that people have put their blood, sweat and tears into with their own hands as a volunteer, it’s very difficult to see someone destroy it in a very intentional way," McNichols said.

After inspecting the damage, McNichols said it appeared the vandals used heavy rocks to bust the windows from outside the cars. Someone was also able to get inside to bust the glass with a wooden stick.

“This is windshield-like glass," said McNichols. "They’re double safety glass and they broke both panes of both windows. All the windows in one car.”

McNichols said the museum has been targeted before, with spray paint and graffiti. Overall, there have been two to four incidents with the damaging totaling an estimated $100,000.

That's why the museum is offering a $1,000 reward, with the hope that the message is sent that these actions won't be tolerated anymore.

“We’re asking the citizens, especially around the Monterey Village area that’s right behind us, to really keep watch and report suspicious activity," said McNichols. "Surely, if they were throwing rocks for about 30 minutes, someone should have heard it and seen it.”

Shattered glass remains outside some of the cars. The museum will be replacing all the broken windows.

“We have a chain-linked fence around the train cars and t’s all locked up," said McNichols. "We have security video, signs posted that it’s no trespassing, but obviously they don’t care. They just disregard the rules and the laws and go ahead and break-in."

The museum is also considering ways of enhancing its security measures.

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