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ohio vandalism laws

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  • ohio vandalism laws

    This goes out to any officers that are in Ohio or have knowledge of vandalism laws in the state. I live in a gated community in a suburb outside of Cincinnati. The gates to our neighborhood were put up about four years ago because the neighborhood provided an easy cut through for two busy streets. Ever since they have gone up many residents of the surrounding communities have taken offense to the gates being up. The front entrance gates are only closed after 12am to 6am or so. The back gates are closed 24/7 and require a key card to get out of the gate. There have been many minor what I would call vandalism to the gates. For instance battery acid has been poured onto the keycard reader and constant ramming of the gates. At the front gatehouse a fake camera was installed and to no avail has it stopped the vandalism. The service call alone is 1,000 dollars plus parts. Our HOA in their grand wisdom sent out a email saying we need to watch out for this kind of stuff. I having actual brain cells wrote back saying that a video survillence system should be installed so the next time someone rams the gates etc that we will be able to prosecute them and hold the financially responsible. The HOA president responded that it is nearly impossible to prosecute them even if they have a license plate on video ramming the gates. I was wondering how difficult it truly would be to hold those accountable for committing these immature and annoying crimes.

  • #2
    First, chances are, the crimes you describe won't be vandalism, a felony on Ohio. Instead, they would probably be prosecuted as Criminal Damaging, a misdemeanor of the second degree.

    Saying that, you'd have to be able to do a couple of things to prosecute someone for criminal damaging in this kind of case. The first would be to identify the person. That would be somewhat easier with a vehicle involved, assuming that you have a license plate number (though the registered owner doesn't necessarily, have to be the driver...and you'd have to identify the driver, not just the owner, to prosecute), but the battery acid incident would prove difficult from an identification standpoint, even with video.

    Also, while the battery acid incident is clearly a criminal damaging, someone ramming the gates might be more difficult to prove. To prove criminal damaging, you have to show that someone knowingly caused the damage. So, if someone who doesn't know the neighborhood took a wrong turn and accidently rammed the gates not paying attention, then it wouldn't be criminal damaging (it would be leaving the scene of a crash, assuming that there was sufficient damage and the vehicle left without making a report or trying to conact the property owner, and failure to control...both traffic offenses).
    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

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