Vandals cause problems in park

A blowtorch was used to damage a donation box at Newfound Gap. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Vandals have hit several areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park during the shutdown.

Park rangers say so far several gates and donation boxes have been damaged. Rangers say in some cases vandals used blow torches to open a gate and try to get into donation boxes.

The donation boxes belonged to Friends of the Smokies.

"Very hard to understand, if you love the park, why someone would perform an act of criminal vandalism against any resource in the national park," said Holly Scott, Friends of the Smokies. "Fortunately, the box itself was not breached."

None of the money was actually taken from the boxes and not arrests have been made.

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