Vandals deface Saguaro National Park East

Published: May. 13, 2013 at 12:42 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:22 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Park volunteers reached out to Tucson News Now, after discovering vandalism along a popular trail head at Saguaro National Park East.

Park steward Joe Sharkey said he got calls from concerned hikers complaining about defaced rocks, sign posts and saguaros along the Douglas Springs trail head leading up to Garwood damn, and eventually Rincon Peak.

This morning at 7 AM Sharkey said he decided to take the hike himself and was very concerned to discover black paint covering at least a dozen rocks, sign posts, and Saguaros along the way.

"It's just ugly graffiti some idiot had to put out there.  What kind of person would put graffiti on a Saguaro?  You can't get it off, what's the point."

Some hikers wondered if the symbols were gang signs or just pranks by bored kids in the area.  Park volunteers have left a note in a box along the trail, warning hikers to watch out for suspicious activity and to report any damage they see along the way.

Most of the damage is visible about a 3/4 mile up the trail, and the first vandalized Saguaros are visible about a mile into the trail.

Those who notice anything suspicious are urged to call park officials at (520) 733-5153.

Vandalizing a national park is a federal offense.  The suspect behind this vandalism could face a $5,000 fine or 6 months behind bars.