Three boys in Sweetwater, Tennessee are in trouble with law officials after video surveillance cameras caught them vandalizing city recreational facilities and a car.
According to Sweetwater police chief Eddie Byrum, the vandals who are 12 to 13 years old attempted to set bathrooms on fire at the Sweetwater Recreation Park and proceeded to shatter three windows out of a nearby car. The boys also allegedly caused damage to the band stand at the Duck Park.
Two of the vandals received three charges after being caught and one of the boys faces one charge. The boys will have to make restitution to pay for the property they damaged and will not be allowed to use city facilities or participate in city sports leagues until they pay restitution.
The video cameras, installed last year, have caught vandals in the past and were put in by city officials who wanted to make sure that city property was well-protected. In addition to the cameras police “are increasing foot and bike patrol in city recreation areas,” said Byrum.
With the end of school and warm weather approaching, the Sweetwater Police Department plans to be especially vigilant in order to decrease vandalism and under-age drinking.
Byrum hopes that between the camera surveillance and serious penalties that perpetrators receive, others will be discouraged from vandalizing city recreation areas or partaking in illegal activities in these areas.
Parks and recreation director Tim Crawford added, “The parks system is under surveillance. The new video system has really helped.”