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Veterans service vans in Bellaire locked behind fence to deter vandalism

The Belmont County Veterans Services vans are now behind lock and key, fence, and barbwire so they can be protected from vandalism.

The Belmont County Veterans Services vans are now behind lock and key, fence, and barbwire so they can be protected from vandalism.

Director Cindy Maupin says half a dozen tires were slashed recently, and prior to that, the same incident happened about 3 or so years ago.

Maupin says the vandalism is a major inconvenience, not only to office staff, but for more than a handful of veterans who are transported by the vans to the VA hospital for treatment each morning.

“When they get here at 5:30 in the morning and all of the tires are flat, there’s a vanload of approximately 10 veterans per day that can’t get to the hospital,” Maupin said. “You have veterans that are going up there for cancer treatments and things that are emergencies, and when they can’t get there, it creates a problem.”

The Veterans Office is just one of many locations in which a slew of residents who fell victim to tire slashing.

On Thursday, police escorted 21-year-old John Roskovich from his West Bellaire home to a jail cell. Roskovich was arrested on five, first-degree misdemeanor charges, and police say he’s admitted to slashing more than 30 tires.

Many say they’re just glad the alleged vandal is off the street.

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