BONNER SPRINGS, Kan. -- The City of Bonner Springs is offering a $1,000 reward in connection to a rash of vandalism.
According to the Bonner Springs Police Department, at lease seven cases of vandalism had been reported as of Tuesday afternoon.
“This started over the weekend,” Det. Adam Kahn said. “We started getting reports on Monday morning.”
The culprit(s) targeted businesses, abandoned buildings and the fence outside the high school. The spray-painted graffiti included the word “slave” -- written in capital letters -- “don’t be a slave,” “don’t be a robot” and random symbols, which police do not believe are necessarily gang-related.
“We don’t have any indication what they might mean,” Kahn said. “Right now, we’re just looking at identifying the person responsible.”
Rita Shuler is the owner of Sunflower Embroidery, located on Oak Street in downtown Bonner Springs. She arrived to work on Monday to graffiti on the side of her building.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Shuler said. “I was in shock that it would happen in this town.”
Shuler thought the vandalism, which caused more than $10,000 in damages and clean-up costs, may have been referencing something negative.
“Whoever’s writing that, I don’t know if they’re trying to bring up something bad, but it needs to stop,” Shuler said.
Bonner Springs Mayor Jeff Harrington called the vandalism disgusting.
“It’s upsetting to see that in such a nice little hometown,” Harrington said. “To have someone that doesn’t have the care and respect for another person’s property, I am disgusted.”
Harrington is also the co-owner of Alden Harrington & Sons Funeral Home, located across the street from Shuler’s store. Their surveillance cameras captured images of what appeared to be a man, wearing a hat and winter coat, walking in the downtown area early Sunday morning.
“I came to work on Monday morning and I saw the graffiti,” Harrington said. “I looked at the surveillance video and saw just a man that was walking around town around 3 o’clock Sunday morning.”
Bonner Springs police would like to talk to the man pictured in the video player above. If you have any information about the person or people responsible, you can leave an anonymous tip at 1-800-78-CRIME.