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Cranberry police pledge to guard Scouting Centennial Plaza from more vandalism

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Rich Gall, a crew leader for Graham Park in Cranberry, pulls the final piece of debris from the fishing lake at Scouting Centennial Plaza on Wednesday, March, 19, 2014. Vandals March 16 caused more than $10,000 in damage. Garbage cans were tossed into the water, lights were broken, sinks pulled from the walls, downspouts ripped off and flags stolen.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Rich Gall, a crew leader for Graham Park in Cranberry, pulls the final piece of debris from the fishing lake at Scouting Centennial Plaza on Wednesday, March, 19, 2014. Vandals March 16 caused more than $10,000 in damage. Garbage cans were tossed into the water, lights were broken, sinks pulled from the walls, downspouts ripped off and flags stolen.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Items damaged by vandals at Scouting Centennial Plaza and Fishing Lake in Graham Park in Cranberry sometime Sunday, March 16, 2014, line a wall Wednesday, March, 19, 2014. Vandals caused more than $10,000 in damage. Garbage cans were tossed into the water, lights were broken, sinks pulled from the walls, downspouts ripped off and flags stolen.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Items damaged by vandals at Scouting Centennial Plaza and Fishing Lake in Graham Park in Cranberry sometime Sunday, March 16, 2014,  line a wall Wednesday, March, 19, 2014. Vandals caused more than $10,000 in damage. Garbage cans were tossed into the water, lights were broken, sinks pulled from the walls, downspouts ripped off and flags stolen.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Rich Gall, a crew leader for Graham Park in Cranberry, latches onto the final piece of debris from the fishing lake at Scouting Centennial Plaza on Wednesday, March, 19, 2014. Vandals March 16 caused more than $10,000 in damage.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Rich Gall, a crew leader for Graham Park in Cranberry, latches onto the final piece of debris from the fishing lake at Scouting Centennial Plaza on Wednesday, March, 19, 2014. Vandals March 16 caused more than $10,000 in damage.
Saturday, March 22, 2014, 2:34 p.m.
 

Days after vandals struck Cranberry's Graham Park, township crews were still retrieving items dumped into the fishing lake at Scouting Centennial Plaza.

“It's upsetting. They (vandals) should have a better use of their time,” said Erin McClymonds of Cranberry.

Members of the McClymonds family were major donors to the park's Centennial Plaza project, dedicated in 2012 to honor a century of scouting.

A plaque there memorializes the late John McClymonds, who owned Cranberry Supply Co. He died in 2011.

Erin McClymonds, who is McClymonds' daughter-in-law, said the plaza “is one of the shining stars of the Cranberry park system.”

“I sincerely hope they're able to find these individuals and have them out there fixing what they broke,” she said.

The vandals struck the park the night of March 16, a Sunday, said Cranberry police Sgt. Chuck Mascellino. They damaged lighting fixtures, several downspouts and a public bathroom. They threw trash and the lid of a garbage can into the fishing lake and damaged lighting around flagpoles. They took several American flags, plus a blue Boy Scout flag and a green-and-white Girl Scout flag.

The Cranberry Township Community Chest announced Thursday it was donating $10,000 toward repairs.

The organization and many of its board members had been instrumental in the development of Graham Park.

The scouting flags went up for the first time this season days before the vandals hit. Finding the 3-by-5-foot flags could give police a clue as to who was responsible for the damage, Mascellino said. Township officials estimated the damage at about $20,000.

Police have talked to nearby businesses on Rochester Road to determine if surveillance footage is available, Mascellino said. Police will have “an increased presence” in the park, Mascellino said.

“We patrol everything as much as we can,” he said.

Initially, police thought the vandalism occurred between the night of March 14 and the morning of March 17.

But after police released details, people reported seeing no damage on March 14 or 15, and police revised their theory. Vandals damage township parks several times a year, Mascellino said.

The damage this time was more costly than normal, he said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Cranberry police at 724-776-5180, ext. 5.

The park also contains the Dick's Sporting Goods Sportsplex and the Miracle League of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which allows children with special needs to play baseball.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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