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Vandals do damage at Lake Julia

Vandals did extensive damage to the playground equipment and picnic tables at Lake Julia over the past weekend, and the Farmington police want to know who those vandals are.

According to Farmington police detective sergeant Lee Hollatz, the Farmington Police Department received a report of possible vandalism on the evening of Oct. 11.

“The report came in that people could hear something that sounded like someone was spray painting in the park,” Hollatz said.

Someone was indeed spray painting in the park. When officers arrived, the paint was still wet and officers could still smell the odor of the paint, Hollatz said.

The vandals painted a number of vulgar words and symbols on picnic tables, the pavilion, playground equipment and sidewalks. All of the park amenities touched by the vandals were installed at Lake Julia during the summer of 2012.

“Everything we had out there was hit with graffiti,” parks and recreation director Randy Distad said. “The frustrating point for me is we just put this playground equipment in last year, and I don’t understand why people have to do this to our playground equipment and our amenities.”

Distad estimates the damage to be around $500, given the staff time and the product used to remove the graffiti. While the cost itself isn’t great, Distad is put out by the time it takes to clean up the graffiti.

“It takes staff time to clean up the mess, which takes time away from other things they could be doing. Given the extent of this graffiti, it wasn’t like we could remove it in 10 or 15 minutes. It took most of the day to remove it,” Distad said.

Police are looking for any information relating to the vandalism, Hollatz said. Anyone who may have seen the vandals can call the Farmington Police Department, 651-280-6700.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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