PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Portland police say at least six teens were spotted vandalizing the Christmas tree in the St. Johns plaza just before 6 p.m. Monday.
Not only were decorations destroyed, but a park bench was smashed.
“These kids are just ruining it for everyone else,” Lane Jensen, who lives nearby said. “It doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, this is for people to enjoy. It’s a nice area over here, but these kids are just making it so no one wants to be here anymore.”
A volunteer who helps keep the plaza in order, Tom Stubblefield, said lately he’s been called on to clean up what’s left from vandals.
“Oh, it’s very frustrating because we’ll fix it and then they’ll break it,” he told FOX 12.
On Tuesday morning, he had to haul the broken bench away.
“I’m fed up with it. I’m fed up with the fact that this keeps happening and nothing’s being done about it,” Jensen said.
Back in July, Portland police increased patrols near the St. Johns plaza after complaints about kids and young adults causing fights and harassing people in the area.
Then in October, three teenagers were arrested in connection to the murder of 65-year-old Ricky Malone Sr., who police said was shot at close range while collecting cans in St. Johns.
While some neighbors said the months of teenage vandalism and violence is becoming too much for them to call north Portland home anymore, other people feel the area is more than livable, and crime like this isn’t going to change their mind.
“I’ve lived in other cities and honestly, Portland is still, I think, very safe,” Morgan Hall said. “Vandalism isn’t a big deal compared to people dying and getting hit by cars and people getting shot.”
Police said no one was arrested Monday night. They are continuing to investigate.
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