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Two charged in connection to vandalism of bear statue

April 01, 2002|BY KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

The fractured Yogi Bear statue at Jellystone Park Campground may soon be made whole again.

The missing arm of the 10-foot statue, taken by vandals, is in the Potomac River at Taylor's Landing boat ramp, according to Maryland State Police and Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Park manager Cheryl Smith said employees have been walking along shore looking for the waving right arm of the statue. They plan to keep looking for a few more weeks.

If the arm is not found, an artist will be hired to make a cast from a similar statue and fashion a replacement, Smith said.

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The damaged statue is one of several Yogi Bear statues at the campground.

This week police charged Joshua Aaron Crampton, 21, Knoxville, and a 17-year-old Sharpsburg male with one count each of malicious destruction of property in connection with the bear's missing arm.

Police were attempting on Friday to serve a criminal summons on a third person from Washington County believed to be involved in the crime.

Vandals tied a rope around the fiberglass bear's arm and used a truck to wrench the statue from its post outside the Williamsport campground entrance Dec. 16, 2001, police said.

The statue broke and the vandals drove away with the arm, causing some $9,000 in damage to the statue.

Witnesses later reported seeing the arm in the bed of a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck traveling south on Dam No. 4 Road.

Police found out the location of the bear's arm and filed charges based on information they received in other vandalism investigations, police said.

The waving statue is popular with young campers, and employees have fun with the attraction by dressing it in Halloween costumes every Oct. 31, Smith said.

Smith said the children at the campground were pleased to hear that people were charged in connection with the crime.

"At least there's some kind of justice," she said.

The damaged bear was put in storage until it can be repaired. When visitors saw the bear missing they wanted to know what happened, Smith said.

"I tell them he's in the hospital," Smith said.

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