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TMCNet:  Owner says Vallejo Ozcat Radio hit by vandals again

[December 10, 2012]

Owner says Vallejo Ozcat Radio hit by vandals again

Dec 10, 2012 (Times-Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Ozcat Radio has been hit by vandalism for the third time since August, forcing the FM station to go off the air at least for a month, its owner said Sunday.

"I definitely think this is personal," founder and owner David Martin said. "They did not take much, but did a lot of damage." Martin said he and a group of people went up to the station's hilltop transmission facility on Saint John's Mine Road on Sunday morning to fix the battery problems that arose from the first two incidents of vandalism.

Minutes before arriving, Martin said he received a phone call from the alarm company informing him that a hiker reported seeing a large hole in the wall of the shack that houses the equipment.

The security system was installed on the shack's door after of the previous vandalism incidents.

Inside, Martin said he saw snipped off wires and some equipment missing. However, the suspect, or suspects, took no copper or more expensive items, Martin said.

"With the first incident I thought it was a random act," Martin said. "But now, I know we are targeted. I don't know why they did it, and I might never know why." He said all the vandalism this year could cost the radio station about $8,000.

"It might not be a whole lot of money for people," Martin said. "But it's a whole lot of money for us." The radio station, 89.5 FM, was founded by Martin and his wife, Katie Martinelli, six years ago. It is a volunteer-based, non-commercial station that focuses on playing local and independent artists.

"We spent the last six years of our lives on this radio, to serve the community," Martin said. "I'm hoping Vallejo as a community will support us." Martin said he will report the incident to the Federal Communications Commission.

"At this point, I'm just at my wit's end," he said.

To donate to the radio station, the public can come to the station at the Atriums of Arts, 600 Virginia St., or visit www.ozcatradio.com and click on "Donate." Contact staff writer Irma Widjojo at (707)553-6835 or iwidjojo@timesheraldonline.com. Follow her on Twitter @IrmaVTH ___ (c)2012 Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.) Visit Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.) at www.timesheraldonline.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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