30 DPW trucks vandalized, hampering snow removal in Westchester County town

MOUNT VERNON, Westchester County (WABC) -- The snow removal effort in one Westchester County town was severely hampered after dozens of Department of Public Works trucks were vandalized overnight.

Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said 30 vehicles, including plows and salting trucks, were affected, costing the city at least five hours in its cleanup.

Authorities say rubber gloves had been shoved into the gas tanks, temporarily disabling all the city's snowplows and salt, garbage and sewer trucks between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.

They believe the vandalism happened sometime between 3:30 p.m. Monday and 5 a.m. Tuesday, when one or more people are believed to have entered the garage at 20 Canal Street.

The vandalism was discovered around 6 a.m. when two city vehicles became disabled. The gloves reportedly got stuck in the intake, meaning no fuel was being delivered to the engine.

Luckily, there is no damage to engines, as far as officials know.

Thomas called the vandalism an attack on all the residents of Mount Vernon.

"We are shocked and saddened by the direct act of intimidation," he said "We're very aggravated by the constant harassment by groups of people that want to obstruct progress and the protection of the people of the city."

Thomas listed several different incidents of sabotage that have occurred over the last 18 months, which he says is a direct result of his targeting of cronyism and corruption from previous administrations.

He claims he has been personally threatened as well, via phone and letter.

"It's a direct attack on the people," he said. "We are not going to be intimidated. We are going to catch whoever is responsible for this act of hate against the people of the city."

Thomas said that on January 14, someone left a fake pipe bomb in Mount Vernon City Hall. Almost immediately after the device was cleared from the building, he said someone set fire to a file cabinet in the Department of Building's offices.

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