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Acts of vandalism, graffiti running rampant in Tooele

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-22 19:16:56-04

TOOELE, Utah — Vandalism and graffiti found this year in Tooele is some of the worst police and officials say they have ever seen.

Earlier this week, the city posted that Elton, Babe Ruth and Parker's parks were all heavily damaged over the past few days by acts of vandalism.

READ: Reward offered for information on Orem bathroom vandalism

In addition, more than a dozen sprinkler heads were found to be damaged at Rancho Park.

"We've had everything from sprinkler heads kicked off, and then normal basic graffiti of obscene things being spray painted, we have also had gang tagging's at Elton Park," said Tooele City Police Lt. Jeremy Hansen.

The bathrooms at England Acres Park were also vandalized on June 8.

"All the stalls were ripped down, the faucet was ripped off of the sink, they just tore down everything within the bathrooms themselves," said Lt. Hansen.

The bathrooms at England Acres Park will remaine locked and closed to the public. With repairs expected to cost thousands of dollars to fix the damage inside, all of which comes from taxpayers.

Hansen said police believe juveniles and young adults are the culprits of these recent incidents.

The police department has just five officers per shift who are able to patrol Tooele's 14 parks.

Police met with the City of Tooele Parks and Recreation Department, as well as Mayor Debbie Winn on Wednesday to come up with a game plan to stop the incidents.
 

"We are looking at all different types of avenues right now to see what we can do to curb this," Lt. Hansen said.

One option the Mayor Winn is looking at is going to the city council and asking for additional part-time, seasonal employees to be hired with the parks department.

Elena Brockbank lives nearby England Acres Park and comes two to three times a week with her children.

"I live right by, so if there is vandalism going on, you worry about how far they will go," said Brockbank.

Brockbank hopes the city will get it under control sooner rather than later.

 

"What's to stop them from doing that to private property if they don't get it under control," asked Brockbank.

Hansen said no arrests have been made in regard to the recent vandalism incidents. He urges nearby residents, or anyone who might have seen anything, to contact Tooele County Dispatch at 435-882-5600.