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Council increases reward in caboose case

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

Five days after the Vandalia Police Department offered a reward for help in finding out who damaged the Little Red Caboose, the city council more than doubled the reward amount.

Last Wednesday, Police Chief Jeff Ray announced that police would give $200 to anyone giving information that leads to the arrest of individual(s) who damaged the caboose, which is stationed in the city parking lot at the southwest corner of Fifth and Johnson streets.
Ray said the reward is being offered through Fayette County Crime Watchers, which means that the caller may remain anonymous in providing information and receiving the reward.
The Crime Watchers number is 283-1986.
Upon announcing the reward at Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Rick Gottman said that he would like to increase the reward to $500.
Aldermen quickly agreed to do so, with a couple of aldermen noting that they wanted to find out who did the damage.
Brothers Neil and B. John Clark said they were involved in acquiring and getting the caboose to Vandalia after the community raised $900 to buy it.
“This is something that’s close to my heart,” Neil Clark.
City officer Rob Blackerby filed a report on the damage, noting that all windows on the east side and upper level had been busted out, as well as three windows on the west side.
Blackerby also noted that the door on the north side had been damaged and that the inside the caboose “was trashed, with damage noted on the inside.”