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There are few things more senseless than vandalism

July 16, 2010
Morning Journal News

The motivation of a vandal is difficult for sane and normal persons of character to understand. It must be some type of personality flaw or mental inadequacy that causes people to delight in damaging or destroying public-owned property or anything that belongs to others.

The recent vandalism that occurred at the old Pittsburgh, Lisbon & Western Railway station on South Market Street in Lisbon was not totally unexpected, but was nonetheless senseless.

County Engineer Bert Dawson, who worked to secure $815,000 in federal and state grants to refurbish the train station, characterized the vandals as "stupid kids ... without anything better to do." He's probably right, and if he is correct that juveniles were the culprits, this again begs the question: "where were their parents" when they are committing these malicious, destructive acts?

Fortunately, the vandalism didn't cause a lot of permanent, structural damage - liquid soap was emptied from the dispensers onto the floor of the outdoor restroom and smeared onto the restroom walls, trash cans were knocked over and bicycle skid marks were made on the cement floor of the picnic pavilion - but it is no less irritating. Why is it when a nice facility is made available to the public, ignorant thugs must try to ruin things for everybody else?

If Dawson is correct, and kids were the offenders, kids will usually talk. And if that talk reaches their parents, we hope they will do the right thing and turn them in. Or, we hope, anyone with information concerning this crime will contact Lisbon police.

We know senseless acts of vandalism will continue as long as there are stupid people who fail to respect the property of others. But successfully prosecuting vandals and hitting them with steep fines and perhaps incarceration could go a long way toward making some kids, or adults, with just too much time on their hands think twice before they consider vandalism as a pastime.



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