Las Vegas Sun

January 18, 2021

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Henderson parks plagued by surge in vandalism

Park Vandalism

Steve Marcus

Ruts are shown in a grass field at Mission Hills Park in Henderson Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. The act of vandalism caused about $4,000 in damage.

Park Vandalism in Henderson

Ruts are shown in a grass field at Mission Hills Park in Henderson Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. The damage was caused by someone driving on the field sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning (Aug.3-4) and caused about $4,000 in damage. Launch slideshow »

Parks are an ideal escape for valley residents during this global pandemic. Children can splash around, while their adult counterparts might take a stroll or have a socially distanced picnic on the grass fields. 

Imagine trying to sit or walk on a pitch torn up by tire tracks, and with puddles of mud replacing the pleasant greenery.

That was the sight in Henderson last Saturday morning at Mission Hills Park, 511 Mission Drive, after at least one vandal skidded a vehicle in circles on a pair of fields.

“Sadly,” Henderson Police wrote on Facebook, “it happened again!” That’s because the same park was damaged in mid-April, when someone drove an ATV through the field at the same park, located near U.S. 95 and College Drive.

The recent incident was the 18th act of vandalism reported at Henderson parks since the beginning of April, said police spokesman Officer Alan Olvera. 

The overnight wreckage would cost taxpayers roughly $4,000, wrote police on social media, adding, “We kindly ask you to please not damage our beautiful parks ... and yes, it’s a CRIME!”

Those caught would normally be charged with injury to other property, with the amount of damage determining if it’s a misdemeanor or felony crime, Olvera said.

Officers are trying to gather evidence and speak to possible witnesses, Olvera said. If a possible suspect is identified, the next step is to make contact.

Once “all leads are exhausted,” Olvera said, the department closes the case.

Police hope the power of social media can curb the behavior or provide tips. The April Facebook post about Mission Hills Park garnered nearly 1,000 shares and roughly 300 comments. 

The recent one had already been shared 270 times as of Friday afternoon, and received about 100 comments, many from people asking for cameras to be installed. Others are from disappointed community members.

“What is wrong with people,” wrote one Marcia Sessions. “They don’t seem to respect anything or anyone in today’s society.” 

Those with information on the damage at Mission Hills Park are encouraged to call police at 702-267-5000, select option No. 2 and reference case HPD DR#20-13535.