AUGUSTA — City police are asking the public to help identify those responsible for an overnight rampage that culminated with dozens of headstones knocked over at the Riverside Cemetery.

Augusta Police Lt. Christopher Massey said more than a half-dozen vehicles were damaged during an apparent crime spree that started on Green Street Tuesday night and ended Wednesday morning with a fire at an abandoned shed off Maple Street. In between, the vandals targeted the cemetery off Bangor Street.

“They tipped over well over 100 headstones,” Massey said. Augusta Public Works crews spent Wednesday morning resetting some of those headstones, though many were damaged when they were knocked over, Massey said.

Police are following leads, Massey said, but nobody had been charged as of Wednesday afternoon. He said investigators believe at least two people were involved.

“We can’t say for sure that they’re all connected,” Massey said. “We suspect that they are.”

The vandalism apparently began on Green Street, where a windshield was smashed out. Massey said investigators have not yet pinpointed a time the damage occurred, but it was before 11 p.m. Cars also were damaged on Front and Water streets on the west side.

From there, the vandals moved to the city’s east side, damaging cars along the Bangor Street corridor, including Patterson and Quimby streets.

At least eight car windshields were smashed or hoods dented, or both. A rear window was smashed out of a car on Pearl Street.

“It looks like they got up on the hoods,” Massey said.

Vandals also scattered trash and orange construction cones at a construction site on Pearl Street. They scattered trash at the skate park at Williams Park on Bangor Street, where they also moved picnic tables and tried to tip over a portable toilet.

Massey said investigators are still tallying the cost of the damage caused during the crime spree.

“We believe it ended with a small shed fire,” he said.

That fire, which was reported around 9:30 a.m., at the end of Maple Street, off Willow Street, damaged a small abandoned shed.

Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette said a city parks and recreation employee noticed the smoke and discovered the fire when he went to investigate. The employee emptied an extinguisher on the fire before firefighters arrived to put out the flames. The building, which Audette estimated is 10 feet by 10 feet in size, was damaged but not destroyed.

He said there is no electricity to the building. He said the specific cause of the fire is unknown, but it is suspicious. The State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to help with the investigation.

“There’s definitely a human element to the fire,” Audette said.

He said the shed fire was reported at the same time that firefighters were trying to extinguish a chimney fire on West River Road.

“They were limited on manpower,” he said.

Massey asked anyone who noticed suspicious behavior during the time of the vandalism spree to call Augusta Police Detective Christopher Blodgett at 626-2370, ext. 3422.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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