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Martin County detectives arrest suspected county park vandal

Vandalism costs taxpayers thousands of dollars to repair
Posted at 10:46 PM, Jan 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-01 08:30:21-05

STUART, Fla. — The Martin County Sheriff's Office said vandals continue to hit county parks. Detectives are working to make more arrests to deter more crimes, making their latest arrest Monday afternoon.

Detectives over the weekend said Mary Brogan Park was hit with graffiti, causing hundreds of dollars in damage to bathrooms and park facilities.

Just 24 hours later, detectives already at the park said they noticed Olivia Rosante, 21, of Port St. Lucie, with two bags full of spray paint cans. Detectives said she told them she's an artist, but she was arrested on a felony charge of criminal mischief.

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In the past 12 months, detectives have responded to 22 separate cases of vandalism in county parks. The vandalism costs taxpayers thousands of dollars to repair, such as covering up graphic or profane images and repairing or replacing damaged sinks and toilets.

Reggie Lopez brings his 2-year-old son to Mary Brogan Park to skateboard. He wants to see the park kept clean so he and his son can continue to enjoy it.

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"Take better care of the parks so you know people can use it for what it's for— skateboarding," Lopez said.

Detective Ben Lisle said while some graffiti might seem harmless, it can encourage more criminal behavior.

"I adhere to the broken window theory," Lisle said. "When something is broken, when something is awry, it brings more crime in. So, if you start having things like vandalism and graffiti, it will bring other people to commit other crimes."