Thieves make off with taxpayer brass


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Several bronze statues like the moose above were recently stolen from their locations at Town Square Park in Eagle River. The Eagle River Parks and Recreation Department is seeking the public’s help in locating the expensive decorative pieces.

STAR PHOTO BY MATT TUNSETH

Vandals and thieves have been using Eagle River’s parks as a criminal playground, racking up thousands of dollars in damages during a summer-long series of sometimes-brazen acts.

“So far it’s been well over $10,000 in damages,” Eagle River Parks and Recreation Manager Val Barkley said on Monday, Sept. 12.

The most recent incident occurred at Town Square Park, where thieves made off with seven brass animal figurines that were attached to fencing near the park’s flower beds.

Barkley said the value of the brass art — four moose, two sheep and a bear — was estimated at $7,000.

Other vandalism this summer has ranged from graffiti at Mirror Lake to destruction of bear-proof trash cans near Mt. Baldy to tearing up grass at Loretta French Park. While every summer has its share of vandalism, Barkley said 2011 has been one of the worst in recent memory.

“I’m almost tired of having to call APD,” Barkley said.

The brass pieces were taken from an area of Town Square Park just a couple hundred feet from the Eagle River police substation.

Barkely said she’s hopeful someone will come forward with information about the distinctive brass animals.

“They might try to sell them,” she said.

The pieces — sheep, eagles, bears and moose — adorn several fences along Business Boulevard. Barkley said she had municipal workers remove several near Town Square because it appeared the thieves planned to return again.

“They had started to unscrew some of the sheep, but they didn’t get ‘em down yet,” Barkley said.

Anyone with information on the missing pieces — or any other vandalism — is asked to call the Anchorage Police Department or Val Barkley at 343-1500.

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