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Reward Offered to Stop Vandalism in Springfield Parks

Vandalism continues at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park in Springfield. A new Vandalism Reward Fund has been established, though, in hopes of stopping these crimes from occurring. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.

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Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park is the victim of repeated incidents of plant theft and vandalism. Most recently, a $50 ornamental shrub was stolen from the park last Friday.

Park officials have started using a locked gate to close the park at night. Also, a volunteer identification program is in the works to help visitors easily identify who is a park worker and who is not. The Master Gardeners of Greene County and Friends of the Garden have created a Vandalism Reward Fund. The public is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers if they have information about the vandalism. Officer Lee Walker is the coordinator for the Greater Springfield Area Crime Stoppers.

“Anytime one of the citizens in the community has any information, even just a possible suspect name, don’t hesitate to call Crime Stoppers and leave any information that may lead to an arrest or conviction on these crimes,” said Walker.

Up to $500 per incident will be awarded to anyone who can offer information that may help end this vandalism. George Deatz, president of Friends of the Garden, shares how the public can be a useful tool in stopping the vandalism.

“The public plays a big role in the successful administration of any of our facilities; they’re aware, they’re around, and if they see something that looks like it’s strange or out of place we would encourage them to contact one of the park rangers,” said Deatz.

The two organizations say they’re also asking the public for donations to go toward the Vandalism Reward Fund. Their address is P.O. 8566, Springfield, MO 65801. The crime stoppers can be reached at (417)-869-TIPS (8477). For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.