Reward offered to help catch vandals in St. Francis

The city of St. Francis will be offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for a recent string of damages to city property.

Vandals have stolen copper from Community Park, leaving the park’s shelters without lighting and disabling the power used for Pioneer Days activities and Movies in the Park events. The theft and damage is estimated at close to $10,000, according to St. Francis Police Chief Jeff Harapat.

The fountain at Woodbury Park was damaged to the point that it cannot be repaired, necessitating a replacement at a cost of up to $7,000.

In addition, the city’s old East Shop was broken into and the copper wiring removed, at an estimated $5,000 in damage.

Harapat told the St. Francis City Council Oct. 7 that it is likely someone knows who is responsible for the crimes and a reward may bring someone forward with information.

The council voted unanimously to authorize city staff to start a reward program offering rewards of up to $500 in certain cases. No reward money will be paid unless the information leads to both an arrest and a conviction in the case.

City staff hope that a reward program will help the city recoup damage costs through restitution payments by those convicted of the vandalism and theft.

Anyone with information on those responsible for the recent vandalism to city property should call the St. Francis Police Department at 763-753-1264.

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