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Destructive social media trend hits close to home

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 8:40 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:15 PM CDT
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ELYSIAN, Minn. (KEYC) - The Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office says the damage caused by vandals at the Lake Francis City Park in Elysian is over $1,500. The vandalism was discovered on Oct. 3 and law enforcement is still seeking the suspects.

Destruction of the property includes the mirrors, the toilets, and the paper towel dispensers.

“We at the sheriff’s office have considered there’s some phases or crazes going on TikTok about vandalism with other public property or schools going on and that kind of stuff,” Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Cpt. Bruce Collins said.

Damage seen on social media like TikTok is being imitated across the country, often in schools. It has the attention of authorities nationwide. Students steal and destroy things from their school’s bathrooms and other public places.

“Hundreds of soap dispensers, paper towel dispensers, toilet paper rolls have been ripped off of walls food and other items smeared across walls and floors and stalls, and plumbing fixtures ripped off of walls, causing flooding damage,” Clarksville-Montgomery County School System Anthony Johnson said.

Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools in Tennessee have said that the vandalism has caused around $20,000 worth of damage to its schools.

Locally, the damaged Elysian park’s bathrooms have to close early for the season. There’s a shortage of supplies needed to replace all the damaged and stolen items. It’s a harsh reality that authorities attribute to a social media trend.

“I don’t think anyone would support social media or the use of it in the roles as they inflict damage or did other things for the negative side,” Collins said.

The Le Sueur County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation and is asking the public to call with any information.

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