Police: Belfield home destroyed
BELFIELD -- The inside of a rental mobile home on Seventh Street Northeast in Belfield has had its interior torn to shreds, according to Larry Johnson, Belfield Police chief. The destruction reportedly occurred around Sept. 4, and the Stark Count...
BELFIELD -- The inside of a rental mobile home on Seventh Street Northeast in Belfield has had its interior torn to shreds, according to Larry Johnson, Belfield Police chief. The destruction reportedly occurred around Sept. 4, and the Stark County Sheriff's Department began investigating the criminal mischief incident Wednesday.
Johnson, who initially took on the case, said the house is damaged beyond repair.
"When I tell you that mobile home is destroyed, that's an understatement," Johnson said.
Mel Zent, Belfield city building inspector, has not done a physical inspection on the home, but has looked at photos of the inside.
"It was a mess," Zent said. "Looking from the photos, it's not habitable in its present condition."
Johnson said three walls of the home were removed.
"They just smashed them down and hauled out the pieces," Johnson said. "The two walls that used to contain the kitchen are gone. There's an interior wall separating the living room from the east bedroom that's gone."
There are also "massive" holes in the ceiling and the walls, Johnson said.
"Granulated insulation was pulled down (from the ceiling) and strewn all over the carpet, the full length of the trailer," Johnson said.
He added all the cupboards in the kitchen were smashed and light fixtures were pulled out of the walls and ceiling. Several windows were broken out of the house as well.
"They had to have tools of some kind," Johnson said, adding an ax and a hammer may be what the suspects used.
The furniture in the home, which belonged to the homeowner, was destroyed due to heavy soiling and the insulation which it's covered in.
"It makes me wonder why people treat property the way they do," Zent said.
Johnson said the home was demolished shortly after the person living there was given an eviction notice.
"I suppose he got upset about being kicked out," Johnson said.
The person was reportedly evicted for not paying rent.
"Besides being out whatever the mobile home is worth, she (the homeowner) is also out the income from any future rentals," Johnson added.
Johnson would not release the name of the person who was renting the home at the time, but he said the person had been renting for about a year and a half. Juveniles are also believed to be involved in the incident, Johnson said.
The value of the home has not been established, Johnson said, but the home was reportedly new in the early 1970s.
Johnson said the incident is unique in the 15 years he's been chief.
"I have never seen anything like this," Johnson said.
The sheriff's department confirmed they were investigating, but declined comment, due to ongoing investigation.
No arrests have been made in the case.