, 2023-04-03 21:54:00,
COVINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) – The new disc golf course at Devou Park was targeted yet again last weekend, leaving the Covington community up in arms and at a loss.
The course opened last October. Days after the ribbon-cutting, thieves made off with 12 of the course’s 18 wire baskets and destroyed a 13th. Officials called it a “coordinated” and “preplanned” theft and lamented the “loss of joy” for those in the community who had been looking forward to—and helped build—the course.
The baskets were replaced at a cost of thousands to the city. But months later, it happened again. Fourteen baskets were damaged beyond repair.
And then, last Saturday, disc golf players arrived at the course to find, once again, the baskets destroyed and the chains removed.
“At this point, it seems like someone is trying to get rid of disc golf in Devou Park,” said Ryan Freibert, who designed the course. “No course has experienced this level of vandalism or destruction over and over again. It’s absolutely unheard of.”
Freibert says heavy tools must have been used to remove the chains.
It’s a common theme among the three incidents. The basket-pole assemblies are 6 ft. tall and 3 ft. in diameter. They’re padlocked to sleeves embedded in concrete. Officials said of the initial theft the thieves would have required a “sizeable” pair of bolt cutters to remove them.
“It must have taken them six hours, eight hours, through the night, through the storms we had last Friday,” Friebert said.
More than $20,000 in damage has been done to the course across the three incidents. Police are investigating whether they are connected.
Friebert says the toll is still greater this time because there’s a disc golf event scheduled at Devou on April 22. They still want to host the event but are unsure if they’ll be able.
A Covington spokesperson offered the following statement Monday:
“The City is working to fix the damage and to track down the criminal(s) responsible for the crimes, which are felonies. Given the recurrence of the vandalism against not just the disc golf course but other features and areas of this over 700-acre park, the City and various Devou Park entities will continue ramping up security measures and discussing even more steps that can be taken.”
No arrests have been made.
Friebart, meanwhile, is defiant that the sport will live on in Covington.
“Disc golf is here in Devou and it’s here to stay, and we are going to make sure if this happens…
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