Police searching for Niles basement flooderPublished 7:45am Friday, November 22, 2013
Niles couple Dale and Flora Arnold got a sinking feeling recently when they heard the news.
More than 36,000 gallons of water had emptied into their basement while they were away on an extended vacation.
“We didn’t know what to think. We panicked,” said Dale. “The next morning we got in the car and left for home.”
Michigan State Police Trooper Ann Poehlman, of the Niles Post, said she believes someone intentionally turned on an outdoor faucet at the Arnolds’ home and left it on for more than a week.
Poehlman is asking for the public’s help in catching the person or persons responsible for the crime, which occurred on Jenine Court in Niles Township, near the Jerry Tyler Memorial Airport.
Poehlman said the water was turned off on Nov. 14 and that the crime likely occurred about a week prior.
“This resulted in an enormous loss for these people,” she said. “It is a criminal act to tamper with someone’s utility.”
Dale there is significant damage to the basement, which contains a kitchen, dining room, fireplace and more.
“When we got there it was bad. Our basement wasn’t a typical basement. It was like another part of our house,” he said.
To make matters worse, Dale said his insurance company is refusing to pay for the damage.
“We are at our wits end,” he said. “We just don’t know what to do.”
Anyone with information about the crime is encouraged to contact the Michigan State Police Niles Post at (269) 683-4811.