The Plymouth County Sheriff is asking for help to stop a shooting spree west of Le Mars along Highway Three. Authorities first got reports of bullets lodged in house siding in early February. The shooting reports in a 13-mile area have increased in the last 10-15 days. Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says he’s concerned that someone will be seriously injured or killed
“These bullet rounds have been located and found inside the residences,” the sheriff says. “They’re not only penetrating the windows, the siding– there’s been a vehicle that’s been involved. But, they’re going through those windows and they are lodging inside the residence itself,” Van Otterloo explains, “One of the instances that we’ve had is that a gentlemen sits in a particular lounge chair each evening and one of the those rounds went within six inches of him. He wasn’t sitting in it at the time but could have been.”
The dozen rural houses have been shot at between around midnight and six in the morning. Deputy sheriff Craig Bartolozzi says D.C.I. analysis indicates the .22 caliber rounds were fired from a pistol or long rifle. “They’re just targeting large windows,” Bartolozzi says, “it doesn’t seem to be that they’re targeting bedroom windows or anything like that. It’s big bay windows and things. So I think probably there intent right now is just to do the damage or criminal mischief.”
Van Otterloo asks anyone who has seen anything suspicious such as a slow moving vehicle on Highway Three to call the sheriff’s office immediately. “Whatever they determine to be suspicious,” Van Otterloo says. “Anything that’s out of the ordinary from what they normally see on their travels on Highway Three. Get us a license plate number is probably the most important, identifying the vehicle, the color, the make, model if you can. If not a plate number is very important. If you can’t get a plate number, just the description is fine. Call us
immediately, don’t wait until the next day.”
Information may also be reported to Crime Stoppers at 712-548-4968. Residents who live along Highway Three west of Le Mars have been told to stay away from windows, especially late at night.
By Joanne Glamm, KLEM, Le Mars