Radio towers near Snohomish, Wash., toppled in sabotage

SNOHOMISH, Wash. -- Two radio towers owned by a sports radio station near Snohomish were toppled by vandals using a stolen trackhoe.

Andrew Skotdal, president and manager of sports radio station KRKO, said the station was recently granted permits to build the two 199-foot towers in the Snohomish River Valley after a court fight.

Skotdal said several people were "very upset" about the project, but he did not know if those people were involved in the sabotage.

Lieutenant Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said calls were received from citizens who said they saw three people running from the scene. A search by police was unsuccessful.

Skotdal said a banner with ELF, or Earth Liberation Front, was left at the scene. The FBI describes ELF as an eco-terrorist group.

Skotdal said he doubted that ELF was responsible for the sabotage and the sign may have been planted to throw authorities off track.

Video from Chopper 7 showed the sign that read "Wassup? Sno. City? ELF" and another line that was illegible.

Police said the vandals stole the trackhoe from a fenced yard, broke through a fence surrounding the towers and then used the machinery to pull a main tower and a smaller tower down.

The manager said the station is trying to find a way to offer a $25,000 reward to find the persons responsible.

The station transferred its radio transmission and remained on the air.

Skotdal said the main tower took about two months to erect.

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