LEICESTER, Mass. — After an Eagle Scout Project at Leicester Primary School was vandalized over the weekend, the Leicester police chief is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
Leicester High School student Jake DeBrusk recently completed his Eagle Scout Project at the elementary school, which consisted of two landscaped bench areas and a nature walk behind the building.
Teachers noticed damage to the project Monday morning and reported it to the police. The nature walk was intact at the end of school Friday.
Several of the walk's educational signs as well a birdhouse were broken in several spots, leading police to believe the damage was malicious in intent.
"There's no doubt in my mind it's vandalism," Chief Jim Hurley said. "If it was an accident, someone would have come forward and said, 'Hey, I accidentally broke one sign.' But accidentally breaking several of them and not coming and reporting the accident — I would say it's malicious."
Although Hurley said vandalism around town has increased, with graffiti on buildings and eggs splattered on cars, he was particularly disturbed to see an Eagle Scout project targeted.
"Here's a young man willing to put his time and effort in for the community as part of an Eagle Scout project and having it vandalized a short time later, it's sad and it's disturbing."
Hurley is encouraging anybody with information regarding the vandalism to report it to the department by calling 508-892-7010, and dialing Ext. 7 for the crime tip hotline. A reward of $100 is offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, with funds coming from the department's drug forfeiture account.
"People need to understand that if there is any malicious destruction of property that causes any monetary damage, it's a felony, and it's arrestable," he said. "I have no tolerance for vandalism."