Vandals tear down trees in Draper park

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DRAPER -- Vandalism sank to a new low with an incident early Friday morning in Draper. Someone tore down 62 trees in a brand new park, leaving them lying on the ground.

"Makes me sick to my stomach," said Draper Parks Manager Stephen Linde.

When Linde got the call Friday morning, he didn't believe it; even after seeing the damage, he still can't believe it.

"Tress are only good, and somebody just wanting destruction? It hurts," Linde said.

Galena Hills Park, on the west side of Draper, has only been around for about a year. Sometime between 2:00 and 3:30 in the morning, police say at least two people went through the park snapping trees at their base.

"I just have a hard time understanding why somebody would do something like this," said Draper Police Sgt. Ron Jackson.

Now 62 trees are ruined, costing the city about $30,000.

"I think it's terrible that people would waste the taxpayers money like this," said Draper resident Tami Price.

Not only were the trees damaged, but at about the same time Friday morning police say someone broke into several cars in the neighborhood.

"We don't have any evidence proving that it's the same group, but we do have video at this park that we are reviewing," Jackson said.

Even if police catch the people who did this, Linde says the damage has already been done. These trees will have to be taken away.

"My employees kid me sometimes about being a tree hugger, but I am. I walk up to them and put my hand on them. They are very close to me," Linde said.

Investigators are still going through that video to see if they can find any clues. Draper City is offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of whoever did this.

Linde says he'd like to see new trees replanted in the park, but at this point, with the economy the way it is, it's tough to say when that might happen.


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