TAMPA, Fla. —A south Tampa neighborhood spent Sunday cleaning up after finding a community building vandalized.
Shawn Brown said he stopped by the Gandy Civic Center Saturday night to check on things when he discovered hundreds of dollars in damage to a building service as a community anchor. His first indication was a broken window on the front door.
"How unfortunate and how frustrating it is that someone or maybe more than one thought let’s go around and create some destruction. Let’s damage property that’s used not for monetary gain but for the community to come together," said Brown, the secretary of the Gandy Civic Association.
The building serves as a place where Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts meet, a church holds a service and opens doors for a community meal and where residents can hold birthday parties, weddings and special events.
Brown believes someone took a bowling pin from a haunted house located on the property, then broke off door knobs, broke a flood light, smashed an electrical area, broke the spigot for a hose and took baked goods, leaving them just outside the building's fence.
"I was very upset because it hasn’t happened in the time that I know of that I’ve been here we have not had a break in like this," said Vivian Hart, the association's chairwoman.
She's been involved in the community for nearly 40 years.
"Let them work and clean up and pick up what they did. And teach a little respect for other people’s property. That’s where I’m at," she said.
Sunday, community members banded together to change the locks, board up the broken window and clean up. Brown said they also planned to install security cameras.
"It’s sad that this is where society is kind of heading towards," he said.
Brown said they contacted Tampa Police and filed a report on the incident.