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Vandals trash Crocker pool Thursday
Vandals trash Crocker pool Thursday

Hay bales and deck chairs float in the Crocker pool after unknown vandals struck early Thursday morning.
CROCKER, Mo. (June 25, 2009) — Students in Crocker’s summer school program, along with many other area children and adults, had looked forward to using the community pool to relax on some of the season’s hottest days.

Instead, city employees, volunteers and park board members are working hard to remove large amounts of hay bales, pool furniture and other debris from the community pool and have been forced to shut it down on the last two days of summer school, which are usually the highest-traffic days of the year.

“They’re in the process of trying to get the hay out of the pool so it doesn’t start to cause problems with the water,” said Mayor Linda Wilson. “We’ve got hay bales and picnic tables and the like thrown in the pool … I can’t believe anybody would do something like this.”

Assistant Police Chief Glen Smith said about 150 children per day were using the pool, and he’s hoping someone will call his department with a tip on who caused the vandalism that is expected to shut the pool down for at least two days while debris is cleared out of the filtration system.

Anyone with tips may call (573) 736-2211, Smith said, and those calling after hours may leave a message with the Pulaski County 911 employees who answer police calls when the Crocker office is closed.

Crocker police have no leads yet, Smith said.

“If anybody has any information we’d love to hear it,” Smith said.

The damage happened between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Thursday and involved five to 10 bales of freshly cut green hay. Smith said there’s no estimated cost yet on how much damage has been done to the pool’s filtration system.

“I spoke with (park board member) Jim Patton down at the pool and got a status on it, and just the impact of not being able to provide the service. It is a pretty bad time,” Smith said. “It’s supposed to be one of the biggest days of the year for the pool and now it’s shut down for two days.”

Wilson said city workers have made fixing the damage their top priority, and their next priority will be to find who did it.

“This pool is a public facility that is used and enjoyed by all the community,” Wilson said. “It’s really sad when people don’t respect property and it inconveniences so many people by the actions of one or a few.”

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