$2,500 Reward Pledged in Vandalism Case

Simi Valley business leaders pledged a $2,500 reward Monday for information about vandalism two weeks ago that left the home of a black family a shambles and defaced by racial epithets.

Some of the money may also be used to help the family repair and refurbish their home on Niles Street, according to spokesmen who said they represent 90% of the city's business community.

"We mainly want to send a signal out that the community is behind this family," said Jack Parfitt, president of the Simi Valley Noontime Rotary Club.

"And that we want these sorts of acts to stop," said Burt von Bieberstein, president of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The residents--Northridge Junior High School teacher Louis Boss, his wife, Ontee, and their four children--discovered the damage Aug. 14 when they returned from an out-of-town trip. Every room was ransacked and littered with piles of ruined belongings, while the word "skinheads" and racial epithets were spray-painted on walls inside the house, police said.

Simi Valley Police Chief Lindsey (Paul) Miller said the investigation had been made a priority but that there were no suspects.

Simi Valley's three Rotary clubs each pledged $500, with at least $1,000 to be used for a reward. The local Kiwanis Club, meanwhile, promised to match up to $1,000 for a reward and also offered to pay the deductible on the family's insurance policy.

The Jaycees offered their labor to repair the house.

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