Vandalism on the rise at Lake Meredith

The Fritch Fortress Amphitheater located near Lake Meredith is experiencing a rash of vandalism this spring (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The Lake Meredith National Recreation Area is seeing a rise in vandalism this spring. Over the last few week’s vandals have been targeting the area and other areas around the lake. With more than 50,000 acres of land the vandals are hitting areas at night.

“They were driving over quite a few of the signs,” says Bob Maguire, the park superintendent. “They were knocking them down and they destroyed some of the lighting and electrical equipment we had up there.”

With the number of reported vandalism increasing this spring the U.S. Park Service is working with area law enforcement agencies to combat the problem of vandalism.

“We’re also working with the community because ultimately this is their national park,” said Carl Brenner, Park Ranger. “It’s got to be somebody’s brother or neighbor or friend and we want them to enjoy the park instead of spending all this time to rebuild the park.”

Maguire tells ABC 7 News so far this year alone vandals have caused more than a thousand dollars in damages and repairs. He’s using social media as a tool to help investigate.

“I watch Facebook,” said Maguire. “That helps us provide some leads with what’s going on in the community. We have had that happen in the past where they post on Facebook. It has helped us solve cases.

Maguire tells ABC 7 News they suspect teens or young adults behind the vandalism and that the people responsible for doing the vandalism will be held accountable. He added the Park Service will work with adults and the juvenile probation system once someone is charged. Vandals face a Class-B Misdemeanor if charged and that can lead to a $5,000 fine and up to six months in jail according to Maguire.

If you see any type of vandalism related activities your asked to call the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area at (806) 857-3151.

In other news at Lake Meredith, a boat dock that was split in half from strong winds and high seas is being repaired. Alls Services of Ft. Worth, Texas has a crew working to repair the boat dock. Crews are putting in quarter inch plates from front to back to help strengthen the boat dock, which consists of composite wood and angle iron.

Two 10,000 pound anchors will also help keep the boat dock in place at Harbor Bay. In December of 2016, the dock split into two pieces with one of the pieces floating out into the lake. Once completed the boat dock is going to be built to withstand 110 mile-per-hour winds and three feet high waves.

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