Belknap Mill vandalism

Laconia police are seeking information about the identities of this couple – a man on the left and a woman on the right – in connection with a vandalism incident at the Belknap Mill on Sept. 22-23. (Courtesy photo)

LACONIA — Police are looking for the public’s help in apprehending those responsible for vandalism that caused thousands of dollars in damage at the Belknap Mill.

Laconia police said one or two people are suspected of using golf balls to break windows in the historic building, which houses offices, gallery space and a large meeting/function room.

The damage occurred during the nighttime hours of Sept. 22-23, police said.

Seven windows were broken, according to Tara Shore, the operations and program manager for the Belknap Mill Society which owns the building. All the damaged windows — on the first, second and third floors — were on the side of the building facing Beacon Street East.

Cost of the damage was placed at $10,000, according to police.

Shore said the cost would have been higher if it had not been for the fact that workers and a special lift were already on site to do work on a major renovation of the four-story brick building, which was built in 1823.

The vandalism caused the ongoing work to be delayed while workers repaired the broken windows.

“It’s not the first vandalism we’ve had, but it is the most extensive and most expensive,” Shore said. “I’m still livid about it.”

According to police, a surveillance camera showed a man and woman on the down ramp of the Downtown Parking Garage across the street from the Mill. The man is shown wearing dark clothing, including a full-length trench coat with a hood up. The woman, described as heavy-set, was wearing dark clothing as well, and light-colored sneakers. She was carrying a bucket. Both were wearing face masks.

Surveillance footage showed the couple entering the garage at 12:02 a.m. and leaving the structure 2 minutes later, police said.

Police ask anyone with information to call the Police Department. People can leave anonymous tips via Tip411, which can be accessed from the department’s website by searching “Laconia PD.”

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