Cash offered for tips to help investigation of vandalism directed at gay Barrington teen

  • Lake County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information about vandalism targeting the home of an openly gay Barrington High School student home last month.

      Lake County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information about vandalism targeting the home of an openly gay Barrington High School student home last month. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

  • Scott Nelles speaks to the Barrington village board earlier this month about hate directed toward his openly gay daughter.

      Scott Nelles speaks to the Barrington village board earlier this month about hate directed toward his openly gay daughter. Bob Susnjara | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 6/26/2019 4:59 PM

Lake County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information about vandalism targeting the home of an openly gay Barrington High School student home last month.

Tipsters can receive up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the May 31 vandalism being investigated as a potential hate crime. Assistant Barrington Police Chief John Burke said Wednesday that investigators want to tap into every available resource.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The student's father, Scott Nelles, reported to police that several hundred plastic forks were placed randomly on his family's South Cook Street lawn and a for-sale sign left against a tree near the street. The sign had a toll-free suicide prevention hotline number, an obscenity and "KYS" -- a known acronym for "kill yourself."

Nelles said his daughter was harassed on social media a week earlier. Police suspect the vandalism was directed at her.

Burke said investigators have reviewed grainy video from a camera at the Nelles family's home showing what appears to be taillights from a car departing the area in the middle of the night, but investigators could not determine the make or model or see a license plate.

"We're still looking into it," he said. "It's been difficult to find any additional evidence in this case."

Information about what occurred may be submitted at lakecountycrimestoppers.com or on the P3 Tips app for mobile devices. Tipsters, who don't need to leave names or telephone numbers, also may call the Crime Stoppers hotline at (847) 662-2222 or contact Barrington police Detective Hakeem Smith at (847) 304-3311 and hsmith@barrington-il.gov.

Nelles has said his family appreciates the outpouring of support from fellow residents and the diligence of police investigators working the case. Some residents dropped off items showing their support, including rainbow pinwheels and a heart-shaped balloon.

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