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Cottage Grove vandals leave their mark with feces and salad dressing

Locking your car doors and using an outdoor motion light may be the best bit of advice for Cottage Grove residents following a string of odd - but, in some cases, costly - acts of vandalism to homes and cars.

Police in recent weeks responded to a number of unusual calls - from the property where feces and urine were left at the doorstep to the home that was smeared with Vasoline. Even stranger were the reports of soda pop being poured in the dashboard of a luxury car and "hundreds and hundreds" of rubber bands strewn across a driveway.

And then there was the dead rabbit in the trunk.

The cases do not appear to be related, according to the police reports. Some were believed to be random, while in other instances the vandal knew the victim. Arrests were made in a couple of the incidents, but in others there are no known suspects.

Here are some of the cases, which stretch back to early August:

Urine, feces at the door

A homeowner in the 9800 block of 78th Street reported Aug. 6 that someone left a jug of urine and a bag of feces on the front stops of the home. The items were left by a juvenile known to the homeowner. The issue was handled with the juvenile's parents.

Vasoline smeared

A Cottage Grove resident reported Aug. 10 that Vasoline was smeared all over the exterior of the residence in the 8600 block of Jenner Lane.

Coke in the car

A newspaper deliverer may have helped solve a case of vandalism in the early morning of Aug. 11, when the driver alerted authorities to unusual behavior in the 8400 lock of Johansen Avenue.

According to police, a large amount of Coca-Cola and root beer were dumped inside a Lexus vehicle, damaging the dashboard and consoled. The damage was estimated at $3,800.

Police caught two suspects in connection with the vandalism. Andrew Hammett, 19, of Cottage Grove, was arrested and jailed on suspicion of felony damage to property, fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, tampering with a motor vehicle and theft.

A 17-year-old male from Cottage Grove was referred to juvenile court for felony damage to property, tampering with a motor vehicle and theft. One of the suspects was in possession of a backpack removed from another nearby vehicle, and a GPS device was reported stolen.

The vandalism was random, police said.

Eggs and rubber bands

Four Cottage Grove teens were cited by police in connection with Aug. 7 damage to a home in the 9600 block of Hames Avenue. According to the report, eggs were thrown at the house and vehicles parked at the residence, and the vehicles were hit with shaving cream. Also, "hundreds and hundreds" of rubber bands were spread across the driveway, the report said. There were nails left at the scene as well.

Two 16-year-old males, a 16-year-old female and an 18-year-old man were cited for damage to property, disorderly conduct and tampering with a motor vehicle.

Eggs hit the house

A homeowner in the 8400 block of 87th Street reported Aug. 8 that eggs were thrown at the house. There was no permanent damage.

Smeared salad dressing

Also on Aug. 8, a homeowner in the 8700 block of Iden Avenue reported that the house had been egged. In addition, a substance that appeared to be salad dressing was smeared on the exterior and interior of a vehicle parked at the residence. There was no damage estimate listed on the police report.

Swearing with shaving cream

Cottage Grove Public Works on Aug. 22 had to clean the street in the area of 78th Street and Jasmine Avenue after someone used shaving cream to write obscenities on the roadway.

Dead rabbit in trunk

One recent call to Cottage Grove police came in as a suspicious situation. A woman in the 9200 block of Jergen Avenue reported Aug. 15 that she found a dead rabbit in the trunk of her car parked at the residence. There were no suspects.