East Liverpool police take advantage of social media to catch vandals

The vandals have been breaking toilets, damaging sinks, and spray painting at Broadway Wharf Park in East Liverpool, police say

Vandals at Broadway Wharf Park in East Liverpool

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WYTV) – East Liverpool police are hoping surveillance videos and pictures may put a dent in a vandalism problem at the city’s Broadway Wharf Park.

“They park in front, get out, and they’re messing around. One goes in the bathroom, next thing you know, water’s pouring out the door,” Chief John Lane said of an incident Sunday night.

One of the video clips captured shows a man going into the women’s restroom at the Wharf.

Moments later, a woman with a cell phone starts taking pictures of the guy inside and then a second man arrives. Video from another angle shows the second man looking at his phone and then walking away.

Police quickly shared the images on their social media page.

“Got it on Facebook and within less than a minute, we had people responding, calling the station, saying who the male was,” Lane said.

Although no one’s been arrested yet, police said on their Facebook page a male suspect has been identified.

Monday afternoon, the damage is still apparent — a sink pulled from the wall of the women’s room.

“Sometimes it’s just the spigot or somebody breaking the toilets or spray painting. Just been different things all summer,” Lane said.

It’s been enough of a problem that police quietly installed surveillance cameras a couple of weeks ago, hoping to catch vandals in the act. The chief expects that those who are arrested will face charges and ultimately be made to pay for the damages, which have been into the thousands of dollars.

“You have to repaint the walls, or fix the spigots and the toilets, and then the time of the people doing it, you know, having to fix that stuff,” Lane said.

In the meantime — thanks to Facebook — the community knows police are watching and would-be vandals may not want to risk getting caught like this.