Director Richard Fortin says the book drop has taken the brunt of vandalization at the Bailey Public Library. This photo shows how the drop was pried open with a crowbar. He said items were stolen from the box. He said the box has also been a receptor for trash. A drink was tossed into the drop, ruining hundreds of dollars of books, he said. Photo courtesy of Bailey Public Library

Vandals have been leaving their mark around Winthrop. 

They have used the drop box at the library as a trash receptor and they have broken the toilet paper dispenser at Norcross Point. 

While vandalism in the town is “normal nuisance criminal mischief,” so described by Police Chief Ryan Frost, it has prompted some organizations to step up their lookout skills. 

On Wednesday, security cameras were installed at Bailey Public Library. 

Vandalism to the library last year, like a carving onto the wall by the bay windows, prompted library director Richard Fortin to budget for security measures. 

Initially, the library had a camera pointed at its 24-hour book drop. Now cameras will be surveilling all around the building, both outside and inside. 

“We will have a camera on the new entrance,” Fortin said, “in addition to old entrance that will look throughout the building.” 

Photos from security footage were helpful identifying a perpetrator who pried off stair treads on the granite steps of the entrance into the 100-year-old portion of the building. Frost said a juvenile was being charged in connection with that crime. 

School athletic fields, dugouts and storage items have been vandalized, Frost said, and at Norcross Point, railings were torn apart and a hole was kicked in the bathroom drywall. 

But he said this is “normal nuisance criminal mischief.”

“(Vandalism) happens quite often. I do not know that we have a big chain of criminal mischief,” Frost said. “We have suspects that are being charged, and it is hard to say whether the individuals we are aware of have done everything.”

Normal or not, vandalism like this frustrates Winthrop residents. 

“I am upset about the amount of vandalism that seems to be happening to our schools and community areas,” said Jana Diket, who is a member of the School Committee and manages the Facebook page Winthrop Maine Community Happenings.

Lonney Steeves is the recreation director for the town and the director of the Winthrop Area YMCA. In 35 years, he has seen plenty of vandalism, he said, “but it seems to be more frequent.” 

He said this summer and last, an individual or individuals tried to break into a concession stand

“It was long after the (summer recreation) program was over, so there was no food or money inside,” Steeves said.  

He said cameras were in the area, and that he would install more soon. 

“People complain about taxes and our buildings are already in need of a facelift. We can’t afford to Band-Aid our facilities due to vandalism,” said Diket. “Cameras are an added expense, as is increased police patrol.”

“We would rather be spending those funds on children’s programs and books,” said library director Richard Fortin. 

This photo, taken Wednesday, shows recent vandalism at Charles M. Bailey Library in Winthrop. The granite was scratched, at right, and a metal strip on steps was pulled off. Kennebec Journal photo by Joe Phelan Buy this Photo

Frost urged residents to call the police if they see something. 

“Be vigilant and care about your community,” he said.

Frost urged organizations that gather security footage showing evidence of vandalism to turn it into the police. 

“That is helpful in certain cases,” he said. 

Fortin and Steeves both hope that the increase in the security footage will deter would-be vandals.

“Really we want it to stop more than we want to catch anyone,” said Fortin. 


Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.