Vandals hit Tyler's Rose Garden

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Courtney Lane - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Thieves have gotten away with thousands of dollars worth of brass from a Tyler's famous Rose Garden. Tyler police say the garden was hit Wednesday night. It is along the 400 block of Front Street. Thieves took brass parts from two fountains in an attempt to cash in.

"They knew what they were doing," said Craig Reiland, the Rose Garden's supervisor.

Reiland says thieves ripped apart brass components in each of the fountains dropping a few pieces along the way. The criminals caused several thousand dollars worth of damage.

"It's a cost that we'll just have to absorb into our operating budget so that means something else doesn't get done," said Reiland.

Tyler Police say the root of this crime is pretty obvious.

"We're assuming that it wasn't done just for malicious that they were using the brass which I would assume is going to get more money for brass to go to an iron place and sell for scrap metal," said Officer Don Martin, with Tyler Police.

For those who maintain the garden, it is a low blow - not only for them, but for tourists who flock to this historic attraction that put Tyler on the map.

"They come to see the roses, they love to see the fountain and the water features and to take that away from all the other people that enjoy coming out here is really sad."

In the last 50 years, Reiland says vandals have left the Rose Garden alone, but now things will have to change.

"We've had some minor incidents of vandalism - plants being taken over the years, roses being cut when you're not supposed to cut roses, but I think we'll have to look seriously at security cameras," said Reiland.

They are considering locking up the garden at night which, again, all comes at a cost.

The Rose Garden is getting replacements for the fountains and expect to have those running again very soon.

If you have any information on this crime, please call Tyler Police.

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