Vandals cause thousands of dollars damage at home

Posted: Monday, July 15, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Michelle Calvillo's yard looked like it was hit by a tornado, but vandals were the culprits, tearing up thousands of dollars in flowers and vegetables belonging to the head of a Fairbanks beautification organization.

Vandals also smeared chocolate syrup and eggs on Calvillo's house, covered her trees with toilet paper and etched a profanity on the side of her car early Saturday morning.

Calvillo is executive director of Festival Fairbanks, the agency that plants flowers around downtown. Some of the damaged flowers at her house were in flats and set for planting at the police station and City Hall on Saturday.

''The only thing they didn't get is my roses because they're full of prickles,'' Cavillo said.

Calvillo and her husband believe the incident may have to do with a teen-age rivalry because the couple has three teen-aged boys. They found a piece of a Polaroid picture in their yard indicating that the vandals had photographed their work.

The Calvillos were awakened in the middle of the night by one of their boys who had arrived home and alerted them of the damage. Police handling calls concerning other incidents, such as assault, were unable to respond.

Planted flowers and pots encircle the Calvillos' house along their fence and Calvillo spends hours each night after work tending to them. Her husband, Robert, said it's not a hobby for his wife but an obsession. Dozens of pots were turned over and many were thrown into the street.

Chocolate syrup was squirted on the front of the house and inside one of the cars. Lettuce and cabbage were torn out of the garden. A lawn ornament was doused with chocolate syrup and tossed onto the porch.

The family spent hours cleaning the mess.

''Absolute heartbreak. Shock. Terror. I feel like I have been violated,'' Calvillo told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. ''This happened right under my bedroom window.''

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