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Joyriding vandals destroy turf at south Edmonton park

Residents in a south Edmonton neighbourhood awoke to torn-up turf, causing thousands of dollars of damage.
Residents in the south Edmonton neighbourhood woke up to a scene of destruction Saturday. 1:40

Residents in the south Edmonton neighbourhood of Summerside awoke to a scene of destruction Saturday.

The community’s new park, located at the corner of 69th Street and 21st Avenue, was vandalized overnight, with what appears to be tire tracks made by a joy-rider circling the park.

Fresh sod, laid just over a week ago, was torn up causing an estimated $100,000 in damages.

Police now say they have identified the 24-year-old man responsible for the damages. He will be charged with mischief over $5,000, vehicle theft and disqualified driving.

Police say alcohol may have been a factor.

This is not the first time off-roaders have caused problems in the neighbourhood. Last spring, neighbours told CBC news they were tired of people ripping through all the new development on quads and four by fours.

Now, residents say they are frustrated the damage is still happening.

“I have no words for this. Yesterday everything was so nice. Workers were here up til 6 o’clock, then the next day ... somebody switched off his brain and did something really stupid,” said neighbour Wolfgang Simmert.

Residents say they now hope to organize a neighbourhood watch.

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