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Vandals cause thousands in damages at eight parks

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POSTED January 15, 2010 3:01 a.m.

There’s a direct correlation between park vandalism in Manteca and school vacation.

Eight parks sustained damage over the Christmas break that could easily exceed $5,000.

“We always get a spike in vandalism when school gets out for a period of time,” said Mark Hall who oversees Manteca’s park maintenance.

He noted the worst periods are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and just right after school lets out for summer vacation.

Park vandalism costs Manteca taxpayers $20,000 a year.

The hardest hit was Northgate Park.

Vandals broke into the electrical control boxes for field lighting and removed copper wiring from the panels to the light poles. Light fixtures and copper wiring on the concession building were also removed. There was damage to fencing as well as score booth tables.

Other park damage in Manteca included:
•A urinal was destroyed at Lincoln Park costing $400.
•Several areas at Roberts Park were covered with feces including a slide that had to be sanitized costing $140.
•A playground dedication monument that was recently installed at Shasta Park was damaged.
•There was extensive gang graffiti on picnic tables at Yosemite Park that cost $100 in labor and materials to clean.
•Vehicles drove on to the lawn areas at Tesoro and Woodward parks and then went in circles causing $275 in damage to the turf.
•About 50 yards of the Tidewater Bike Path was tagged with graffiti. A coat of asphalt sealer was applied as pressure washing did not remove it. The labor and materials cost $170.

Brown noted that damage to municipal parks has been consistently about $20,000 a year although the number of parks has grown significantly.


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