Man breaks bank to catch vandals |

Man breaks bank to catch vandals

Lenado rancher Floyd Watkins is offering a $5,000 reward to solve a $350 vandalism case.

Although the economics of the deal stink, Watkins figured he can still get a good return on his investment.

“I’m want to let [the vandals] know I’m not going to take this sitting down,” said Watkins.

He said he was victimized Tuesday night when vandals destroyed a bubble mirror at his ranch gate. The mirror allowed him to see traffic on Woody Creek Road while pulling out of his driveway at Beaver Run Ranch, about three miles from Lenado.

The vandals hooked a chain to the post and yanked it out, then smashed the mirror, he said. He valued it at $350.

The vandalism ended a strange sequence of events during which Watkins claimed he was unfairly portrayed as a bad guy. The chain of events started when he was invited to attend a benefit Sunday at the Woody Creek Tavern for an ill Lenado neighbor.

Watkins said the fund-raiser featured an auction that included three dinners valued at $75 each. He bid $450 for the package.

“The next day I got an anonymous phone call telling me I’m a cheap bastard and I better watch my back,” he said.

Watkins doesn’t know what he did to earn the label. He was the first person to bid, so anyone could have easily outbid him. He thought nothing of the call until the mirror was destroyed.

Watkins reported the incident to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office but said there is little they can do without someone coming forward. He’s hoping to loosen lips with a hefty cash reward.

Watkins said he will contribute $3,000 to the fund of his ill neighbor plus give a $2,000 cash reward to anyone who supplies information that leads to the arrest of the vandal or vandals.

“I want to make it so outrageously lucrative that someone will say something,” he said.

Tips can be given to the sheriff’s office at 920-5300 or to Watkins at 923-3472.

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