After the village painted the word "Lakers" on the water tower across from the school district campus on East Street decades ago, vandals stopped painting on it. Until last month.
The Skaneateles Village Police are investigating vandalism on the tower in which someone, or multiple people, spray painted an F over the L, turning the word "Lakers" into "Fakers." Someone from the school called the police Saturday morning, Dec. 23, and said the damage was done likely Friday night or early Saturday morning.
When asked if the police have identified suspects, Sgt. Marty Stevens said no, but added, "We're working with the Cazenovia police."
There was also a symbol Stevens said that looks like a signature, or personal logo. Police will take the image to Cazenovia schools, also known as Lakers, to see if they can identify the creator.
Stevens pointed to the fact that Skaneateles beat the rival Lakers team at hockey the week before the incident, and were to play in basketball the next week.
No evidence was found on the scene, but no one has yet to go up the tower because a certified person has to climb it.
"There are no signs of how they entered or egressed," Stevens said.
The fence around the tower was not damaged, but Stevens added it is only six feet tall.
"It was bound to happen sooner or later," he said.
The village owns the tower and the surrounding property. Director of Municipal Operations Bob Lotkowictz said the village will look "at additional measures to improve security."
He added that the village will make temporary repairs so it no longer reads "Fakers."
"These will cost between $1,000 and $2,000. The village, ironically, was planning to paint the exterior of the tower this summer," Lotkowictz said. "We need to repair the rusted areas on the tower and then give the tower a new, uniform coat of paint."
Lotkowictz said this was the first time in his four years with the village that he was faced with this situation. Stevens said after officials painted Lakers, then "Home of the Lakers" on the tower, they hadn't had problems with people vandalizing it.
The perpetrators may face charges of criminal mischief, and Stevens added that the water tower is covered by federal regulations related to Homeland Security, and therefore could fall under federal charges.
The perpetrators used gray primer to try to block out the L, and painted a red F over it, Stevens said.