A reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information about vandalism at a ranch and other properties in Chouteau County. Some Chouteau County property and equipment was also damaged.
The Gasovda family claims the damage to their property amounted to more than $250,000. The damage is believed to have occurred on August 17 or August 18.
Brian Gasvoda got a call Wednesday night about his work truck being found in a ditch: “We just started finding more and more stuff.”
Complete damage to its entire spray equipment configuration, a semi-truck with water tanks, a chemical truck, chemical shuttles and pumps; everything destroyed.
“They literally used a $400,000 sprayer as a derby car.”
The Gasvoda family initially posted a reward of $2,500, and that number has since grown to $20,000 – thanks to the help of Brian’s son, Dustin, and the surrounding community.
“I guess we just want to send the message that we will not tolerate this. As for the reaction, what I’ve heard from people is probably good that they weren’t caught in the act. People are just fed up,” Brian said.
Arlene Rice – crop consultant and former president of the Montana Agriculture Business Association – and members of the community open a bank account in their honor.
Rice and the others are calling on community members to help what she claims is a “selfless” family.
The account will be opened on Monday August 22 at 8 am when the Banque de l’Indépendance in Le Havre opens. The name of the account will be “Gasvoda Equipment Recovery Fund”.
For questions about how to donate, call Independence Bank in Le Havre at 406-265-1241.
Rice added that this act of vandalism should be classified as “environmental terrorism”.
“We’ve had many, many neighbors offering spare tanker parts. But the availability of sprayers is very difficult, and so are parts right now… It’s the last thing anyone needs, it’s something like that.
Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to contact the Chouteau County Sheriff’s Office or the Gasvoda family.