Saturday, September 6, 2014

Malvern C.I. war memorial vandalized again in Toronto

TORONTO - Vandals have struck again.

The war memorial at Toronto’s Malvern Collegiate — a previous a magnet for vandalism — has been targeted one more time.

A group of so-far unidentified people took a sword off a 1920s cenotaph at Malvern C.I., located near Main St. and Kingston Rd., in the middle of the night on Aug. 23, the investigating officer said Saturday.

“A group of people got on the cenotaph and were seen removing the sword,” Toronto Police Det. Keri Fernandes said. “So it has been damaged.”

The school didn’t notice for a few days, she added. Police were notified by Sept. 3 and investigators have determined it’s a group of “at least six youth.”

“We’ve received part images of the surveillance from the school so far and there’s still more for us to receive,” Fernandes said.

She also would not rule out that the people involved may have taken pictures or videos of the act and uploaded them online.

“It’s not uncommon for people of this age to videotape themselves doing these acts,” she said, adding she’d like anyone with that information to contact police.

Fran Perkins was on a restoration committee in 2011 that raised $44,000 to refurbish the statue.

She lives across the street and recalls the last time the memorial was damaged.

In November 2011, days after the restored statue was revealed, it was met with vandals armed with sticky tape. Three lead letters spelling out the names of soldiers were also knocked down.

“It was malicious, really malicious last time. I don’t know if this time it was fun or malicious,” Perkins said.

Five cameras watch the statue at the front of the building but the additional security didn’t stop the latest incident.

“I don’t know if we have to start fundraising again, I’m not sure what we have to do,” Perkins said.

Fernandes said a preliminary estimate from the school placed the damage at $5,000 to $10,000.

It could have been students pulling a prank, she said.

Anyone with information should call 55 Division at 416-808-5500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.
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