Break-in at All Abilities Park shuts down restroom facilities

ST. GEORGE Restrooms at the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park were rendered useless early Wednesday morning when someone broke into the building and ripped out the copper piping. An investigation is still pending.

Restrooms at the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park are closed after a break in, St. George, Utah, Nov. 30, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
Restrooms at the Thunder Junction All Abilities Park are closed after a break in, St. George, Utah, Nov. 30, 2016 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

At approximately 1 a.m., an individual broke into the restroom facilities located in the new All Abilities Park and cut out the copper piping, said Kent Perkins, leisure services director for the city of St. George, adding that the individual seemed to clearly know what they were doing and what they were looking for.

Mark Goble, project manager for the All Abilities Park, said an estimated $80 worth of copper was taken, but it wasn’t just an issue of lost piping.

“There was a lot more damage done than there was worth of the copper,” Goble said.

The park has several surveillance cameras, Goble said, and it is their hope that the individual was caught on camera.

Further investigation into the incident is ongoing, St George Police Officer Lona Trombley said.

The Thunder Junction All Abilities Park opened to the public in October and has been a popular place to play for children with disabilities as well as the entire community ever since.

Goble expressed his sadness that someone would damage the park.

It’s just sad that this event took place because of the type of facility that this is for people with special needs, as well as all the people in the community,” Goble said. “It’s just unfortunate that somebody thought that they could come in and damage this facility for us and take away a lot from the public.”

Perkins also said he was saddened by the break-in.

“It is sad that people are driven to such things for whatever they do it for,” Perkins said.

Crews were on scene Wednesday to estimate the cost and timeframe for repairs. One possible response, Perkins said, is to replace the copper piping with PVC piping instead, but nothing was certain at the time of the report.

The city is working to repair the damage as soon as possible, Perkins said, adding that there are restroom facilities located at the playground and tennis courts in the adjacent Tonaquint Park for visitors still wishing to enjoy Thunder Junction.

St. George News videographer Sheldon Demke contributed to this report.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • Real Life November 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Can’t have anything nice because of them tweakers.

    • Christmas Bob November 30, 2016 at 3:26 pm

      yep, $50 to 100 dollar or so scrap value of copper, but the bill to fix it will be thousands. I think only a meth addict would risk a burglary conviction for such a low reward. surprised they didn’t take the brass too–its got a lower value than copper but would still help feed his meth addiction. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was someone who worked on the site at one time.

      • Christmas Bob November 30, 2016 at 3:28 pm

        They came in, had all the tools, knew where the shutoff was, knew exactly which pipes were copper, yep

        • .... November 30, 2016 at 8:13 pm

          Wow just think Bob now you can come up with another one of your idiotic conspiracy theories. LOL !

        • Real Life November 30, 2016 at 9:05 pm

          And will scrap it out in Vegas. For a quick fix.

    • .... November 30, 2016 at 8:14 pm

      Wow what a profound statement that was. you better get some rest after having a thought eh ?

  • r2d2 November 30, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Anyone want to trade a little copper for a little dope. It takes real guts to rip off the disabled.

    • Real Life December 1, 2016 at 6:43 am

      It sure does, Dumpster.

  • Sue November 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    It’s about time that the recycling places are charged with helping find thieves. The copper is identifiable with the paint coating and the sizes and hacksaw marks. They should have to take a pic of the items surrendered for $ plus have a receipt with the names and addresses (verified by ID) of anyone selling to them.

  • mmsandie November 30, 2016 at 6:05 pm

    If you build a4-5 million dollar park. How secure was it???

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