Wednesday, September 19, 2001
Steamboat Springs Vandals broke into a shed at the Yampa River Botanic Park late Tuesday night and attempted to take a joy ride on the park's golf cart. They didn't get it started and didn't find the keys, but they stole spray paint cans and painted the cart with designs and obscene words. They also tore out the ignition.
The vandals tampered with a tractor at the park but were likewise unable to find the keys to that vehicle.
This is the second time this year the park has been vandalized. The first time, in late April, the vandals destroyed a statue and a brochure stand at the entrance to the park, said Botanic Park Supervisor Gayle Noonan. The vandals also broke a window the first time they broke in.
Noonan said the park is open all night so people can walk through it, and she is not anticipating it will close at night in the future.
"They could still just jump over the fence," she said.
Noonan said she thinks the perpetrators, whom she thought might be teen-agers without cars hoping to take a joy ride, may be easily identifiable by the spray paint that likely got onto their clothes.
"It would be pretty hard to get that much spray paint on the cart and not get any on yourself," Noonan said.
Noonan said the door to the shed was busted open and spray paint cans were stolen.
Detective Ross Kelly said he was not sure whether the two vandalism incidents were connected. Kelly took fingerprints and photographs at the scene and will continue to investigate. The perpetrators of the first act of vandalism have not yet been found.
The botanic park is a city park with 35 small gardens. It opened in 1997.