(NASHVILLE) - Police say vandals are costing the Brown County Highway Department thousands of dollars and that their crime potentially put people on the roads at risk.
Criminals damaged equipment, even tampered with truck brakes before they went out to salt the streets.
This winter has hit Brown County especially hard and Brown County Highway Superintendent Roger Cline says the vandalism over the past few months have hit the department hard.
"It was somebody that has mechanical ability," Cline said.
Vandals targeted the highway garage in Nashville, week after week, damaging equipment.
Wiring was cut and pulled out of dashes, sand and water was poured in gas tanks and additives put into crank cases so when the trucks were started they blew up.
Cline says the criminals put lives at risk too, by tampering with the brakes on two salt trucks.
Drivers didn't discover the problem until they were on the road, tried to stop and couldn't.
Stopping the crime has been costly for this small department. Cline has had cameras, lighting, and motion detectors installed and a security fence will be put in later this month. The cost - about $60,000.
Cline says that money will have to come from funds meant for emergencies and equipment.
Both Nashville Police and the Brown County Sheriff's Department are now searching for the vandals who caused the damage. Since the Highway Department installed more security, vandals haven't hit again. But they say it was a dangerous crime during an already brutal season.
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