Vandals Damage Flood Buyout Homes - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Vandals Cause Thousands of Dollars Worth of Damage to Flood Buyout Homes

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Vandals are running up the costs for a handful of new homeowners, who purchased flood buyout houses along the Red River. Valley News team's Eric Crest looks into what's happening in a south Fargo neighborhood and what the shrinking community along the Red can do to help.

We don't hear about communities shrinking in Fargo often, but along the Red River you'll find pockets of neighborhoods that are down sizing.

"We're on River Drive south in south Fargo. It's part of the relocation project," explains Bob Schmidt of Schmidt and Sons House Movers.

In the coming weeks 15 homes will be removed from this neighborhood. Schmidt and Sons House Movers will help with the process, but they're hoping they don't have anymore surprises like they did on Tuesday.

"They went there and shot out the front window of a house and shot around the window and caused considerable damage," says Schmidt.

Three homes are damaged so far, likely from a slingshot or paintball gun that was shooting marbles at homes windows and siding. Schmidt is hoping someone has seen something on this busy block.

"It's not remote by any means. There's neighbors all over. There's eyes everywhere," says Schmidt.

It's not just the contractors that are peeved about the situation, but also the new homeowners. They are ultimately responsible for the thousands of dollars worth of damages. Damages that will be paid out of pocket because getting insurance on a vacant home is difficult.

"I was really worried to get the call at first cause you have no idea what happened or how much got damaged," says Nolan Thorsrud who got a call this morning to hear that a estimated $1,500 dollar window was busted in a home that his family purchased.

With four kids, Nolan and his wife Elizabeth Thorsrud have out grown their current space.

"This was a really good alternative and affordable for us to do," says Thorsrud.

By August they hope to move into their new home that is nearly double the size of their current home. But finding out they'll likely have to cough up another $1,500 dollars is tough to hear.

"We're trying so hard. We're on one income. We home school our kids. We're trying to make it day to day. And the fact that somebody came in and messes with our house, that's everything to us at the moment, for our kids (hurts)," says Elizabeth Thorsrud.

So until the culprit is found, here's hoping that what was done, will be the end of it.

"This home is a really huge blessing to me and my family," says Nolan Thorsrud.

"The homeowners don't deserve this kind of stuff," adds Schmidt.

As always, give police a call if you know anything. Schmidt and Sons House Movers say they're offering a $300 reward for tips that help police find who's responsible. We've included a number below if you would like to reach out to the movers personally.

Schmidt and Sons House Movers: 701-388-2045.


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