Vandals break into Japanese Garden

Vandalism in the form of rope-cutting and fence damage has repeatedly occurred at the Washington Park Arboretum's Japanese Garden since the beginning of the year.

Between January and February of this year, employees first noticed a large hole in a chain-link fence bordering the gardens. Later in February, employees noticed ropes used to border trails and ponds throughout the gardens had been cut on different days.

Someone then cut the rope through the interior of the gardens in early April and was reported to police.

Dewey Potter, public information officer for Seattle Parks and Recreation, said the city hired a security guard and the vandalism at the gardens has since stopped. The guard is a private contractor.

Vandals were able to enter the gardens by climbing over the fence, as well as cutting holes in it, Potter said. The fence was repaired quickly, she added.

Since there was never any damage to the botanical collection at the garden, "we're a little confused as to what the motive of the vandal was, but it's always a concern when people vandalize," Potter said.

Potter said the Seattle Police Department have no suspects, but the garden is "on alert now," she said.

The Seattle Police Department did not return calls for comment.

Throughout Seattle, park vandalism is something the city deals with "on a daily basis," Potter said.

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