Vandals strike again in Chatham Square

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Vandals have struck again and the city of Savannah has had enough. For the third time this year, thieves broke off and took off with a piece off the Toomer Monument in Chatham Square off Barnard Street. Three times this year, but over the years, too many to count. In fact, so many back in 1998, the city of Savannah moved the monument from middle of the square towards the sidewalk. They even placed it on top of a brick platform in order to enhance it's appearance.

Since 1964, this monument has been in Chatham Square. It is dedicated to the late Lewis Burke Toomer, the founder of Carver State Bank.

It's a part of Savannah's rich history that Ellen Harris, Chatham County Cultural Resource and Urban Planning Manager, says is a recurring victim of vandalism.

"We haven't had this kind of vandalism on any monument that I'm aware of," said Harris.

Three times this year, Jerry Flemming, the city's Director of Park and Tree, says they've had to replace the gnomon.

"The gnomon is the part of the sundial that casts a shadow," said Flemming.

While Flemming says it's not a custom made piece, it takes time and money to replace.

"It's concerning that we have a public monument in our squares and people destroy them for whatever reason. When something appears to be intentional vandalism, that concerns us more and we are wondering what type of people would cause such damage," said Flemming.

Flemming says he just wants the thieves to stop and leave this piece of history alone.

He says it's not only disrespectful to the city, but to the memory of Mr. Toomer.

"We do have a responsibility as a community to keep an eye on it and keep it around for future generations," said Flemming.

The city is working with the Savannah Chatham Metro Police Department. If you have any information, contact police.

As far as why this is happening, police aren't sure whether it's for the metal to trade in for cash or if it's a game, but regardless, the city is sick of it.

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