Shady Cove park damaged by vandal with chainsaw

A chainsaw-wielding vandal attacked Aunt Caroline's Park in Shady Cove twice last week, cutting down trees and hacking up picnic table benches and the park's pump house.

Now the Jackson County Sheriff's Department is looking for help finding who is responsible for the damage. A $500 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandal or vandals, officials said.

On Wednesday, a City of Shady Cove maintenance worker at the park in the 2500 block of Indian Creek Road, Shady Cove, found a picnic bench that had damage that appeared to be from a chainsaw, a sheriff's department news release said. Workers replaced the damaged wood on the bench, but hadn't even repainted it to match the table before the troublemakers hit again.

On Thursday morning, a maintenance worker reported that sometime overnight, someone had cut down two trees — one slender tree about 4 inches in diameter and one measuring more than a foot and a half around. The vandal cut a 3 foot by 3 foot hole through the side of the park's pump house and sawed two picnic benches in half, including the one that had just been repaired, the sheriff's department reported. The city estimated the damage at between $500 and $1,000.

Deputies are investigating both incidents of vandalism and think it is strongly likely that the same vandal or vandals struck more than once, sheriff's Lt. Christine Bronson said.

Investigators ask anyone who saw or heard anything they think might be related to either incident to call the Jackson County Sheriff's Tip Line at 541-774-8333.

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