Short Creek authorities seek info following rash of vandalism

HILDALE — Colorado City and Hildale City authorities are seeking information after the discovery of vandalism at various locations including Maxwell Park.

Restrooms were vandalized at Maxwell Park costing thousands of dollars in damage in Hildale, Utah, Sept. 21, 2023 | Photo courtesy of Hildale City, St. George News

Colorado City – Hildale City Police Chief Robb Radley said there have been five separate incidents of reported vandalism that resulted in thousands of dollars of damage.

Police say these incidents date back to Sept. 21 when spray paint markings of obscenities and damaged property were discovered at the women’s restroom at Maxwell Park.

Similar markings on storage containers and the front recycling business sign at Eco Alliance in Hildale were then found on Sept. 23 and Oct. 9.

The “Welcome to Colorado City” sign was the next target on Oct. 12. The vandal reportedly then returned to Maxwell Park on Oct. 22, when damage to the men’s restroom and road signs occurred.

Radley said it appears to be the same person or group of people. The suspect or suspects are believed to be local to Southern Utah and possibly even local to the Short Creek community, the chief added.

“It is sad because this person who is angry with something … is taking it out on everybody versus coming in and looking for a different solution or help,” Radley said.

Hildale City Mayor Donia Jessop also shared her concern about the situation.

“I am really disappointed that someone would do that,” she told St. George News.

The vandalism comes after the city has completed multiple upgrades and improvements to Maxwell Park, from firepits to landscaping. Upgrades to the park have been ongoing due to the park serving as a central location for events and festivals that have drawn in both residents and tourists.

“We work so hard to create a place for kids to play and the people to enjoy,” the mayor said. “It is just very disappointing.”

Jessop said the community needs to come together, figure out who the vandal is and stop them. Since the discovery of the vandalism, security efforts have increased and the city has had to start locking the restrooms at night at 9 p.m., which is unfortunate, she said, as this affects access to the public.

Authorities have released some photos of the vandalism, but these images are less vulgar and offensive than some of what was found. Due to the nature of that vandalism, those images have not been released.

Police have opened a tip line through their 24/7 dispatch center. Anyone with information regarding these incidents is encouraged to contact the Arizona dispatch at 928-875-9170 or the Utah dispatch at 435-874-2240.

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