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Vehicle vandalized in the Bangor City Forest, more graffiti found

Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
Aislinn Sarnacki | BDN
File photo. This trail map is free of graffiti on Nov. 1, 2017, in the Bangor City Forest, during a time when many signs and maps throughout the forest were covered with graffiti. A car was vandalized in the Bangor City Forest on Monday evening, according to police, and some social media posts are linking it to ongoing graffiti in the public forest and trail network.

BANGOR, Maine — A car was vandalized in the Bangor City Forest on Monday evening, according to police, and some social media posts are linking it to ongoing graffiti in the public forest and trail network.

Police received a report of vandalism to a vehicle parked in the cul-de-sac at the end of Tripp Drive near the entrance of the Bangor City Forest at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Monday, March 5. The vehicle’s driver’s side window was smashed in while the owner was walking the trails.

“We’re actively investigating it,” said Bangor police spokesman Sgt. Wade Betters. “I can’t list any suspects.”

The vehicle’s owner posted about the incident on the “Bangor City Forest Report” Facebook page, linking the vandalism to ongoing graffiti, messages written in marker on trail signs and maps throughout the forest for more than a year. The police, however, couldn’t confirm that the vehicle vandalism and graffiti are linked.

At Bangor Parks and Recreation, the city department that oversees the City Forest, Director Tracy Willette said the department plans to review their trail camera footage to assist with the investigation.

“We’ll go through what we have for cameras out there to see if we picked up anything, but I’m not sure if we will,” Willette said.

In response to graffiti being repeatedly found on Bangor City Forest signs, as well as repeated vandalism to the forest’s bog boardwalk, the Bangor Parks and Recreation Department installed eight trail cameras throughout the public forest last fall, and these cameras have been active all winter. So far, none of the cameras have been tampered with, Willette said, and prior to this incident, the cameras have not recorded evidence of a crime.

The cameras were located to face forest signs and maps, some of which are in the parking area, but Willette isn’t confident that any of the cameras were at the right angle to provide footage of the vehicle being vandalized.

“We’ll continue to monitor our trail cameras posted throughout the property and work with the police on this matter,” Willette said. “If we need to add more cameras out there, we will.”

Efforts to reach the owner of the vandalized car for this story were unsuccessful. However, on the public “Bangor City Forest Report” Facebook page, he or she posted about the incident in detail.

“When I returned from checking signs [for graffiti], I found my driver’s side window smashed, two passenger windows etched, molding etched and the driver’s side tail light smashed,” the victim wrote.

During the visit, the victim reports having seen a silver two-door car parked in the parking lot and urges other visitors to be on the lookout.

“Nobody should fear for their safety or the safety of their property when enjoying the [Bangor] City Forest,” the victim wrote.

“It’s getting to be that time of year, the impending forecast aside, when activity is going to pick up again in the [Bangor] City Forest,” Willette said. “If folks see any suspicious activity, we certainly encourage them to report it to the police.”

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