Police seeking leads on vandals who struck pool


County police are seeking information on vandals who hit the Stevens Forest pool last week -- tossing furniture and equipment into the pool, defacing a large mural and defecating on a sidewalk -- in an incident that caused an undetermined amount of damage.

No arrests had been made as of Friday, police said.

The vandalism occurred late Sunday or early Monday, said assistant manager Scott Herdson. The vandals entered the outdoor pool at 6061 Stevens Forest Road in Oakland Mills and used red spray paint to write the word "MARC" over a blue-and-white mural on a bathroom wall showing two dolphins jumping from water.

In addition, "every chair and every pool table and table weight was thrown in" the pool, Mr. Herdson said. "The water vacuum was thrown in, the aluminum recycling bin was thrown in, and the cans just floated everywhere."

He said that a table was broken and that a clock was ripped off the wall and thrown on the clubhouse roof.

Mr. Herdson said he did not know how much it would cost to repaint the mural, which was completed about a month ago for the pool's swim team.

TC Sgt. Steven E. Keller, a county police spokesman, said two officers responded to a complaint about vandals throwing furniture into the pool shortly after 12:30 a.m. Monday.

When the officers arrived at the pool, they saw two young males, Sergeant Keller said. The youths jumped the fence and ran through several yards before the officers lost sight of them, he said.

Mr. Herdson said three lesser incidents of vandalism occurred last week at the pool, which attracts at least 100 visitors daily and is one of 21 outdoor pools in Columbia. Details on those incidents were not available.

Pool vandalism is commonplace in Columbia and officers have been instructed to make nightly checks, Sergeant Keller said.

"This is a common problem with people going into the pools," Sergeant Keller said. "We respond to these kinds of complaints almost daily, nightly."

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