Windsor officials are asking the public to help protect the town’s parks after a recent spate of vandalism at Keiser Park caused thousands of dollars in damage.

According to Sgt. James Percy of the Windsor Police Department, the men’s room of the main restroom complex at Keiser Park was severely vandalized on the night of Oct. 25 to Oct. 26.

“What happened is some time during the night, (the perpetrators) had gone into the men’s bathroom and kicked in the partitions, stole some of the plexiglass mirrors over the sink, and caused damage to the barbecue pit outside,” Percy said.

Town staff estimate the cost of the damages from the first night will be between $2,000 and $3,000. Percy said it’s unclear how the vandals gained access — whether they were able to break in somehow, or if a member of the Windsor Parks and Recreation department left the door unlocked by accident. Park restrooms are typically locked at 7 p.m.

Regardless, with the bathrooms secure following the initial vandalism, vandals returned on the night of Nov. 1 to Nov. 2 and destroyed some of the exterior light fixtures, causing about $300 in additional damage.

The bathroom in question is currently locked up pending repair, with signs reading, “Restrooms closed due to ongoing vandalism.”

The department suspects the vandals were youths although they do not yet have evidence to identify the suspects. Percy said it was unlikely the perpetrators were from Windsor’s transient population.

“We’re not seeing a transient situation,” Percy said. “We suspect kids, but we don’t have any evidence of that. Sometimes kids will congregate at parks. So we’re just trying to get higher visibility. Our biggest push would be for residents to report anything that looks suspicious.”

As such, the Windsor police are working with the resource officer at Windsor High School (WHS), as well as WHS staff, to help keep an eye on student activity in the park. Percy also said the department is increasing patrols to the area while working with the town and parks department to prevent future recurrences.

“Long and short is we’re giving the area a lot more attention. We’re working with the town and parks to come up with a remedy,” he said.

An entry in the Nov. 4 Town of Windsor newsletter, “the Insider,” said that vandalism is “on the rise” in Windsor parks.

“We have seen an increase in widespread vandalism in our local parks, including graffiti and property destruction,” the newsletter reads. “We need your help to stop this vandalism – while you’re enjoying one of the 19 public parks here in Windsor, please be vigilant of any suspicious or destructive activity and report it immediately to the Windsor Police Department.”

The entry also said that vandalism has occurred at all times of the day in Windsor’s parks.

Anyone with any knowledge of these acts of vandalism is encouraged to report it to the police by calling 707-838-1234. Reports can also be made anonymously at the Sheriff’s “silent witness” webpage.

The Windsor police encourage anyone who sees suspicious behavior at Keiser Park, or elsewhere, to report it to Sheriff’s Dispatch at 707-565-2121.

 

Staff Writer

Brandon McCapes got his start in journalism at SRJC, when he covered the North Bay Fires in 2017. Since then, he has covered Sonoma County for a variety of publications, specializing in local politics and business reporting.

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