Kent police are stepping up their patrols of Plum Creek Park after vandals cut down three trees there.
"We've got someone who's on a little destructive path," Kent Parks and Recreation Director John Idone said. "It's a frustrating thing."
Idone said he's talked with the police department, which agreed to step up patrols at the park to try and catch the vandals.
The latest victim, a 15-inch to 16-inch Locust tree, was found cut down with a saw or chainsaw across the park access road Friday. Previously, a Maple tree was cut down with an axe, and they cut down a smaller tree before that, Idone said.
"These are fairly big trees," he said. "We're not talking saplings."
Each tree, valued at $1,000, is not likely to be replaced right away.
Idone said he suspects teenagers are cutting down the trees, which in two of the three cases were felled across the road to try and block access to the park. The trees were not removed by the vandals.
And, it's not the park's first problem with vandals. This winter, after crews repaired a broken rail along the adjacent railroad tracks, someone dragged all the broken wooden railroad ties into the park and blocked the roadway. Last year, someone lit several garbage cans on fire.
"I can't say for certain, but it sounds like someone drinking, underage, not in a car," Idone said. "Typically, this kind of vandalism I've seen is kids on foot. We're hoping they move on."