Police are searching for 2 vandals who caused at least $50,000 worth of damage at Columbiaâ??s Cosmo Park early Saturday morning.
Authorities said 2 young men wrecked 2 city trucks while damaging 3 softball fields.Investigators are not releasing surveillance video of the suspects that shows them stealing the trucks because of their ongoing investigation.
The unreleased surveillance video shows 2 young men, possibly teenagers, finding the keys to a city truck inside the locked area of the Parks and Recreation Compound near Cosmo Park. The suspects drove through the compound gate and wiped out the fences at 3 nearby softball fields. They also did some â??doughnutsâ?? that left ruts up to 6 inches deep. After crashing the first truck onto a fence post, the 2 suspects found the keys to a second city truck at the compound. They did some more â??doughnutsâ?? and finally drove the second truck into a nearby lake. A park employee found the damage at Rainbow Softball Fields and called police before daylight on Saturday morning.
Parks and Recreation Director Mike Griggs said, â??Theyâ??ve fingerprinted the vehicles. We saw everywhere they touched. They fingerprinted all of the vehicles they touched, as well. They actually got a few DNA swabs. We are pretty confident that in a matter of time we are going to catch these individuals.â??
Early estimates show about $30,000 in damage to the fields and fences and at least another $20,000 in damage to the 2 trucks. The good news is that one of the damaged trucks was so old, it was about to be traded for a new one.
The vandalism happened on the morning of the Mizzou football game. Athletic Fields Supervisor Travis March was just one of dozens of park employees who gave up their Mizzou tickets to begin repairs so softball players could play their games that night.
March said, â??Being a football Saturday, a lot of people wanted to get to the game. We take a lot of pride in these fields. Everybody that works and Parks and Rec wanted to come in and help.â??
March hopes to have the fields repaired in time for a softball tournament thatâ??s scheduled for this weekend.
If you have any information about this vandalism, police urge you to call Columbia CrimeStoppers at 573-875-TIPS.