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Juveniles who confessed to vandalizing Laurel Park in custody

St. Peters authorities say they have two juveniles in custody who confessed to vandalism that closed the Laurel Park playground on June 16 and briefly closed the park swimming pool two days earlier.

According to police, the juveniles confessed to burning a playground tunnel at the park, located at 181 Driftwood Lane.  One of the juveniles also confessed to vandalism at the pool two days before and implicated others. Police are continuing their investigation.

The early morning fire destroyed the tunnel that connected the park’s two lower playground areas. City officials immediately closed the playground until further notice to evaluate the damage.

The pool was closed for only three hours on June 14 after a vandalism incident that included a lifeguard stand being set on fire.

Lisa Bedian, the city’s communications director, said city officials hope to reopen the playground as soon as possible.  City officials are evaluating structural damage to the tunnel feature at the playground and how much it will cost to fix it.

To repair the playground, city officials already know that a pavilion structure above the tunnel, what remains of the tunnel itself, and concrete will have to be removed then replaced.  A major renovation project was also planned for the playground this fall.

“This is a sad situation because it costs the community and affects the families who could be enjoying the wonderful playground we have at Laurel Park,” said Mayor Len Pagano in a statement from the city.

“I want to thank police for their hard work as well as the people in the community who are helping police try to find the parties responsible for these senseless acts of vandalism.”

City officials and police are asking anyone with information related to the recent vandalism at the park to call the St. Peters Crime Solvers Tip Hotline at [636] 278-1000.

Police also say the found two other juveniles in the park at 5:45 a.m. on June 17 and are urging parents to keep track of their children.

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