CRIME

Tooele police: 5 of city’s 14 parks vandalized over past 2 weeks

Jun 22, 2022, 10:24 PM | Updated: Jun 23, 2022, 10:36 am

TOOELE, Utah –-Police were hoping that the public would help identify suspects involved in recent acts of vandalism at several city parks and watch for criminal activity at those locations in the future.

Lt. Jeremy Hansen with the Tooele City Police Department said over the past two weeks, five of the city’s 14 parks sustained significant damage, including defaced and destroyed restrooms, damaged sprinkler systems, and graffiti.

England Acres Park, 880 N. 400 East, was the first to fall victim on the evening of June 8, when police say vandals believed to be juveniles went into both public restrooms and tore them apart.

“They ripped down the walls of the stall,” noted Hansen stepping over sheets of metal while touring the site. “The frame is still intact, but everything else is down on the ground.”

Lt. Jeremy Hansen reviews the damages at England Acres Park.

Grainy surveillance images from June 8 at 5:15 p.m captured two teens leaving the men’s restroom with an object in hand and entering the women’s restroom. Police said they believed the teens had information related to the vandalism.

City workers told KSL TV the repair costs could reach $10,000.

Hansen said the vandalism charges could be second-degree felonies because of the damage done.

On Tuesday, other acts of vandalism were identified at Rancho, Elton, Parker’s and Babe Ruth parks.

“You’ve got pink graffiti on the walls, they also left graffiti on the garbage can,” Hansen said, pointing to a photo of Babe Ruth Park. “Parker’s Park over at the dugouts, it appears a group of juveniles were drinking beer, left broken bottles by the dugouts and on the field. There were actually piles of urine and throw-up in there as well.”

The vandalism at Elton Park.

Hansen said vandals also kicked off all the sprinkler heads at Rancho Park near 800 Timpie Rd.

“Their parents are the ones that paid for these parks,” Hansen said. “We’re hoping that parents take a more proactive approach in keeping track of what their teenagers are doing, and we’re hoping our community that lives in these surrounding homes will help us monitor what’s going on here.”

Hansen said the parks are closed from 11:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m., and they encouraged neighbors who see people at the parks during that time to call police.

Anybody with information on the latest vandalism cases was also asked to contact Tooele City Police Department through Facebook messenger or via dispatch at 435-882-5600, referencing tip No. 4008.

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Tooele police: 5 of city’s 14 parks vandalized over past 2 weeks