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Police: Vandals Smash Produce, Carve Swastika Into Watermelon

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SALINE (WWJ/AP) - Police say vandals smashed produce at a community garden in Washtenaw County and carved a swastika into a watermelon that was left behind.

Police were called to Saline Community Garden near Woodland Meadows Elementary School just before 3:30 p.m. Monday following a report of vandalism, which likely happened late Sunday or early Monday. Tomatoes, corn, onions and watermelons were tossed about the garden.

Saline police Detective Don Lupi said the vandalism is “unacceptable” and the department is taking it seriously. The garden has been at the site about 40 miles west of Detroit since 2007.

John Dahlgren, who has two plots at the garden, told AnnArbor.com he originally thought a dog had caused the damage, but realized it had to be the work of vandals after seeing the swastika-covered fruit.

“The community garden is something that’s there for the community. People use it and people love it,” he told AnnArbor.com. “It’s people’s hard work and it shouldn’t be taken advantage of like that.”

Dahlgren said someone also turned on water and left it on, causing much of the ground to be soaked. But he’s not worried about something like this happening again, saying it was probably just “a couple of kids … wanted to see what kind of damage they could cause.”

Police are seeking tips from the public. Anyone with information is asked to call the Saline Police Department at 734-429-7911.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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