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Published: Friday, 5/31/2013

Olander Park offers $1,000 reward for informaton on park break-in, damage

BY NATALIE TRUSSO CAFARELLO
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Olander Park is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction of two suspects who broke into the park and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage over Memorial Day weekend.

Around 4 a.m. Memorial Day, two unidentified suspects broke into Olander Park, 6930 Sylvania Ave., and damaged a vending machine, broke windows and doors. Park officials estimated the total cost of damage, including repair and replacement work to total $2,500.

Dave Woodcock, the park’s maintenance manager, was alerted to the incident and arrived on the scene around 4:45 a.m. He reported the incident to the Sylvania City Police Department.

The two suspects were dressed in disguise, wearing a mask or cloth to cover their face, and had long sleeved shirts on, and pants. Captain Rick Schnoor said, after reviewing the surveillance video, that he believed the two to be juvenile males, however, with the covered disguise, it could also be two females.

According to Mr. Woodcock and evidence gathered by police from the site, it seems that the two may have gained entry to the park by hopping a fence, and then headed over to the swim area on the lake, where the destructive behavior started.

The two broke into a vending machine at the swim area. It is not known how many items were taken since it needs to be verified by the owner of the machine, Mr. Woodcock said. However, it is believed they took some healthy snack bars, and took a break from vandalizing the park to eat them.

The two then proceeded to the maintenance building by forcing entry through the door. Three fire extinguishers were taken from the building, one was found in the lake.

Mr. Woodcock said that the north wall of the main office building was sprayed with white residue from the fire extinguisher.

The two then headed to Nederhouser Community Hall, and tried to gain entry by smashing the glass in the back kitchen door with one of the fire extinguishers.

Then, they shattered a large kitchen picture window on the deck side of the building.

And hanging flower baskets that decorated the Nederhouser deck were destroyed.

This is the third time that someone gained entry to the property and damaged the vending machine, Mr. Woodcock said.

Park officials along with the city police are asking residents to be aware of any suspicious activity at the park after hours. The police will be increasing night patrol of the park, while investigating the crime. Police request that anyone with information call Toledo Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356 or ntrusso@theblade.com



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