Crime - Sacto 911

El Dorado officials seek help protecting park from thieves

Law enforcement and parks officials in El Dorado County are asking the public’s help in keeping an eye on Henningsen Lotus Park, which fell victim to copper thieves during the 2012 holiday season.

The 51-acre park is located off Lotus Road along the south fork of the American River, west of Coloma. During the holiday season last year, thieves caused $40,000 worth of damage to park utilities, taking 600 feet of copper from near the ball field on the park’s river side, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

Although additional security measures are now in place, “public awareness and support are the most effective tools,” Vicki Sanders, county parks manager, said in a written statement.

The winter months, with their shorter days and longer nights, provide more cover for criminal activity, officials said.

Anyone who observes suspicious activity in the park is advised not to contact the parties involved, but to get a good description of the subjects and their vehicle and to report the incident to the Sheriff’s Office as soon as possible. The sheriff’s non-emergency dispatch phone number is (530) 621-6600.