Crimetracker: Vandals leave behind $7,000 of damage at park

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MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) - Severe weather kept most visitors away from parks in east Tennessee.

But it certainly didn't stop vandals from wreaking havoc at one in Hamblen County.

Police say the suspects took a truck from a shed at Frank Lorino Park, and went on a destructive joyride. By the time it was over, they left the truck stuck in a fence, and more than $7,000 worth of damage.

"I've been in the Parks and Rec business for 36 years, and I've never seen this," said Craig Price, the director of Morristown Parks and Recreation.

The tour of destruction starts at the softball concession stand, where the vandals stole a grill and broke empty vending machines open.

"Glass coolers, they busted the glass out. Destroyed things in there, dropped pickles around," said Price.

Once they hopped in the truck, the first stop was the skate park. They knocked a section of ramp down a hill, but it wasn't damaged too badly, and the kids can still board safely.

Next, the vandals approached the soccer fields. Instead of driving around the fence, they just crashed through it. They left track marks along both sides of the field.

The soggy grass finally slowed down the suspects, who took off, leaving behind the truck and a torn field. Ironically, Price says the field's condition has been helped by the winter weather.

"The rain has helped us a lot too, as far as the turf conditions. Maybe we won't have to do any of that sodding stuff," said Price.

Fortunately there are no games going on for another month, and Price is optimistic the fields will be ready by then.

In the meantime, he's keeping hoping the vandals will slip up and reveal themselves.

"A lot of people get proud. Lots of people that do vandalism will eventually brag about it and maybe one day we'll find out who, and find out why they did it," said Price.

There are no security cameras at Frank Lorino Park, but Price says they'll look into getting some installed.

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