Vandals Hit Minnesota Parks During Shutdown

State sites remain unattended
By Tim Karan,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2011 2:57 PM CDT
Vandals struck state parks over the holiday weekend amid Minnesota's government shutdown.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The government shutdown in Minnesota has claimed an unexpected casualty—state parks. Vandals ransacked buildings and burglarized parks over the holiday weekend, reports the Star Tribune. The most severe damage was done at a park east of the Twin Cities, where 12 people were arrested for allegedly breaking into camper cabins and an administrative building, burglarizing, and causing thousands of dollars worth of damages.

"This is just exactly the type of thing we're going to be seeing repeatedly as the shutdown goes forward," says the director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership. Residents are free to walk into the parks during the shutdown—which is about to enter its second week—but they are forbidden to drive in or stay overnight. "It's sad," says a representative for the Department of Natural Resources. "[But] when you tell people that there will be no one around, they will take advantage."

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