Chain link fence

There was a break in at the parks and recreation warehouse sometime over the three-day holiday weekend.

The break in was discovered at 6:45 a.m. on Tuesday.

According to Parks and Rec director Patsy Smith, over $6,500 in tools and equipment were stolen, including weed eaters, lawnmowers, chainsaws, hedgers and blowers.

A police report has been filed and security film footage is being analyzed.

“We were notified this morning and are actively working to identify the suspect(s),” said Palestine Police chief Mark Harcrow.

The suspect(s) cut a chainlink fence and kicked in the door of the warehouse to access the items.

Smith said luckily they have liability insurance and records of the serial numbers and identifying information for all the items taken.

The city is still taking inventory of the warehouse, verifying what’s missing.

“We want to raise awareness about this type of vandalism,” said city manager Teresa Hererra. “And to let people know that when things like this happen, it comes at a cost to the taxpayer. The thieves are literally stealing from themselves.”

The bulk of the equipment taken is used in the parks and recreation department’s day-to-day duties of mowing and community cleanup.

The department was scheduled to mow and clean-up the city cemetery on Tuesday.

This is the second recent city break in. The public works building was previously burglarized.

If you have any information with regard to this burglary contact the Palestine Police Department at 903-731-2254 or Anderson County Crime Stoppers at 903-729-8477.

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