NEW JERSEY (WTXF) - Police say they have arrested two Hammonton residents in connection with vandalism that occurred at the Apple Pie Hill Fire Tower in Wharton State Forest.
According to authorities, Robert Lloyd, 49 and Donna Campanella, 46, were charged with Criminal Mischief, Trespassing and other park related offenses.
Detectives from the State Park Police conducted an ongoing investigation in response to the repeated reports of damage to the New Jersey Forest Fire Tower. Police say in early September, state Forest Fire service officials constructed a fence around the popular tower along with posted restricted area signs, in an attempt to reduce a wide range of damage that was being caused to the observation tower over a long period of time. Since the fence was constructed, officers have stepped up patrols in the area, but reports of damage to the fence had continued, according to police.
Investigators say on October 5th, both Lloyd and Campanella, were observed on video surveillance entering the area of the secured tower, dismantling the fence and causing damage in excess of $1,000, including hours of repair. A thorough investigation lead to the arrests of the suspects on October 21.
Authorities say Campanella and Lloyd are lodged in the Burlington County Jail on $1,500 bail each, awaiting a court hearing. They are due in court on November 14th.
Monitoring of the Apple Pie Fire Tower will continue by State Park Police.