Vandals severely damage City Park utility trucks on joy ride


Posted on February 4, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 4 at 7:01 PM

Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @antwanharris

NEW ORLEANS -- Dotty Martino is disturbed after hearing someone broke into a maintenance garage at City Park and took five carts for a joy ride.

“It is troubling that it happens, but it happens all the time in this city," Martino said.

The damage was extensive. Busted front ends, broken windows and lights were smashed on each cart.

Altogether the damage totaled more than $51,000 in damages. We are told two of the carts were only a week old.

“For good measure they thought it would be a kick to drive four of the five vehicles into a lagoon," said John Hopper with City Park management.

Hopper said the vandals broke in through a fence by the back of the garage and got inside.

The vandals cut the wires under the steering columns, and that's how they started the carts.

From there, thieves took them around the park, leaving tire tracks all over the wet grass, and eventually parking them in the pond.

City Park covers 1,300 acres and carts made the job much easier getting around.

Right now the maintenance crew is back down to one working cart, making the work load triple.

Hopper said to make matters worse, they had to raise the money to pay for those carts, and now it's back to square one.

"Guys who needed these don't have them so it will be an even harder job for those that we already ask a lot from."

You are urged to call City Park Police at 504-421-9307 if you have any information that could lead to an arrest.

There is a $1,000 reward.