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An appeal for help after railroad cars vandalized

East Troy Electric Railroad preparing for 100th anniversary season

(Published April 11, 1:02 a.m.)

Several railcars at The East Troy Electric Railroad were tagged by vandals a month before opening for its 100th anniversary season.

The incident, which occurred sometime between April 1 and April 7, left four vintage passenger railcars spray-painted with graffiti. The cars were in a warehouse off County J near County ES in the village of Mukwonago.

"It does appear that if it is not a professional tagger, it was done by someone with a lot of artistic talent," said Mukwonago Lt. Kevin Schmidt.

The extensive spray painting to the sides of the cars did not appear to be gang related, Schmidt said. Police have no suspects at this time.

Schmidt did not think the tagging was related to December vandalism done at The East Troy Electric Railroad headquarters in the village of East Troy.

In that incident, a sleigh that was on top of a railcar was set on fire and a car was spray painted both inside and out. A window on a car was also broken, according to a criminal complaint.

Dominic V. Vallone, 18, of W315S7430 Lakecrest Court, Mukwonago, has been charged with burglary, arson and other crimes related to the incident. A boy admitted to police that he and Vallone caused that damage, according to the complaint.

The Walworth County District Attorney's Office would not say if the juvenile was arrested or charged.

The East Troy Railroad is seeking volunteers and donations to help restore the cars in time for the 100th anniversary's Train Parade set for Saturday, May 5.

"As a non-profit, we raise money all year long to maintain these vintage railroad cars with little reserve to repair damage caused by malicious vandalism," Friends of the East Troy Electric Railroad President, Richard Cecil said in a news release. "We are putting out a call to everyone to help by volunteering or donating money to help us get ready for our 100th anniversary."

The East Troy Electric Railroad is a non-profit organization run by volunteers committed to the operation and preservation of historical trolleys and memorabilia.

To donate to or volunteer at the East Troy Electric Railroad Museum, call (262) 642-3263 or visit www.easttroyrr.org. All donations benefit repair and preservation of the museum's fleet.

Anyone with information regarding the vandalism in Mukwonago is asked to call Mukwonago Police at (262) 363-6435.


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