Drunken vandals smash trees and leave path of destruction

DISAPPOINTING: Stawell resident Helen Thripp is outraged after vandals targeted a number of trees lining Sloane Street early Saturday morning. Picture: Peter Pickering
DISAPPOINTING: Stawell resident Helen Thripp is outraged after vandals targeted a number of trees lining Sloane Street early Saturday morning. Picture: Peter Pickering

Vandals have destroyed a number of young trees along Sloane Street during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Resident Helen Thripp noticed the damage on her morning walk in the area. 

“The beautiful Crepe Myrtle trees had branches snapped and their trunks scratched,” she said.

“I picked up a broken whisky bottle by one of the smashed trees.

“Obviously these people were returning from a night of drinking.”

Mrs Thripp said the area was notorious for petty crime. 

“Two years ago they had a run of smashed letterboxes here, 18 months ago we had a lot of people in this section who had their solar lights in their gardens stolen and my husband even found two under his two back tyres, the criminals wanting him to smash them when he backed out,” she said. 

“Everyone would know in this district that they are Friday night drinkers and they are out to cause trouble.”

Stawell Senior Constable Nathaniel Warren said residents must be aware and ready to report any suspicious activity to police. 

“We have to be told otherwise it makes it difficult to catch these vandals,” he said.

“You can call Stawell police station on 5358 8222 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.”

Mrs Thripp said Northern Grampians Shire Council had only recently planted the trees. 

“We are so fortunate that the council is trying to make our town more beautiful,” she said.

“If these vandals don’t like living in our little town, leave. That’s the best advice I can give them.

“I was so angry that people could think of doing anything like this.”

Mrs Thripp wanted to see the Northern Grampians Shire Council garden team leave tree guards longer on trees which were still slightly immature.

“The trees these vandals have gone and smashed are still very young and the guards need to be left up longer,” she said.

“To have an avenue of these beautiful trees into our town, how must that make us look?

“It just makes me wonder where are their parents when they’re out at this time of the night, if they are young enough and cause this much damage and not old enough to have the sense and knowing of the beauty of these trees for later on in our town.”

Mrs Thripp said she wanted the community of Stawell to work together and look after the town’s assets. 

“There are people in this town that can hardly afford their rates, if we look after the assets in the town and help council out, they might drop our rates,” she said. 

“Any vandalism you witness, call Crime Stoppers, they’ll be right onto it, with great success.”