Vandals leave behind trail of damage in downtown Franklin

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FRANKLIN, Ind. (October 21, 2015) - Broken windows, broken flower pots, slashed tires, and trashcans turned over, was some of the damage left behind in downtown Franklin. But this was not the work of a bunch of kids.

Tonight two men are in jail. Franklin Police say they’re responsible for thousands of dollars in damage.

The flower pots in the front of Tony Priola’s restaurant were a nice accent.

“We were thinking somewhere around $500-- just the costs of the flower pots, the soil, the flowers,” said Priola, owner of The Willard restaurant on Main Street in Franklin.

But those same pots became just some of the damage left behind by a pair of vagrant vandals. Police say Brian Shaw, 30, and Roy Burkett, 34, ripped their way through downtown Franklin, wreaking havoc on everything from Franklin Middle School to Franklin College.

Leaving businesses like Priola’s in between, equally a mess.

“Originally we thought they might be just some teenagers out causing trouble and come to find out they’re men in their 30s.  That’s where it’s even more hard to understand, why adults are doing stuff like that in the middle of the morning,” said Priola.

Priola was a part of the plethora attacked by the alleged vandals. Police say starting at 2a.m. Tuesday, the two men spent several hours ripping apart the Elks’ Lodge, a Franklin Parks and Rec Building, and various public schools, to name a few.

“Usually it’s a misdemeanor, but it can be enhanced to a felony if there is at least $750 damage to a school or community center,” said Detective Matt Harris with the Franklin Police Department.

The two men could now face a level six felony for vandalizing public schools, and a church.

Priola was one of many victims with video cameras, which helped police in arresting the men.

“The big thing that we had this time that helped us in our investigation was witnesses and we had good communication from our community,” said Harris.

Both men are still in the Johnson County jail on $2,400 bond. No word if drugs or alcohol played a part in the vandalism.

Police say other people may have been victims and have not yet come forward. If you think you were vandalized early Tuesday morning, call the Franklin Police Department.

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