Nixa police searching for playground equipment vandals

Published: Apr. 15, 2023 at 1:07 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2023 at 9:19 PM CDT
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NIXA, Mo. (KY3) - The Nixa Police Department is asking for help to identify four vandals who damaged playground equipment at a park.

According to a news release, the four vandals damaged a brand new playground that was nearly complete at McCauley Park.

“It’s a little disheartening to know that doing such an amazing project for the community, a fully inclusive playground, dating our 21-year-old playground equipment from the past,” said Matt Crouse, the director of parks for Nixa.

Security footage, which the city says they can’t release right now, shows the four vandals wearing light colors, one wearing a dark colored backpack walking near the back of The X Center around 2:15 a.m. on Saturday morning.

“We’re making that assumption, then from there that that’s who was down here. And based on the size, they are probably junior high to high school age, although, you know, that could vary just a little bit. You know, it’s hard to tell from the surveillance footage in that in that area,” said Crouse.

The vandals also damaged the insides of the restrooms near the playground.

“The vandals used blue spray paint to damage the city’s new inclusive playground, a nearly $1 million installation designed to allow kids of all abilities to play together. The new equipment had just been installed in the last few weeks, and installation crews were set to complete the playground for a highly-anticipated ribbon cutting. The damage will delay completion and opening of the playground, meaning area children will have to wait even longer to enjoy it,” the news release says.

Crouse is asking parents to have a conversation with their kids.

“I‘ve got a 15-year-old myself. So it’s just so important to have that conversation of respecting other people’s stuff. But the parks in general, they’re here for everyone. And so when someone messes up something or just leaves their trash at a spot, the next person that comes behind them is going to experience that,” said Crouse.

If you have any tips on who may have been involved and where they can be located, please call Nixa Police at 417-725-2510.

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