CAERNARVON TWP., Pa. - John Burdy Park is becoming bad news.
"We've never had so many issues occurring lately like this in the township," said Det. Cpl. Chad Eberly, Caernarvon Township Police Department. "It's very upsetting."
The police said recent troubles at the playground on Lenape Drive have ranged from excessive noise, littering and property damage, to cases of aggravated assault, robbery and theft from a nearby township garage.
"Today, they took keys to a piece of maintenance equipment," said Eberly, "so now our road crew for the day, they had a job scheduled they can't do."
Township surveillance video also recently captured what police said is a juvenile with a gun.
"It looks real in the camera, for sure," said Eberly.
One neighbor, who did not wish to be identified, has seen the trouble unfold.
"It makes me very nervous, and it makes me very nervous to take my kids down there, very nervous," said the neighbor. "There's nothing there for teenagers to get into except for mischief."
The police said they're increasing patrols around the park and, at the same time, doing some community policing, trying to get to know some of the kids and get them on a better path.
"The main focus of that playground is for the younger kids to enjoy it," said Eberly, "so while we're there, we're also interacting with them and handing out badges, stickers and tattoos and stuff like that. We're trying to have a positive impact outreach as well."
The police said they plan to put up "no trespassing" signs near the township shed. They said kids involved in the mischief can be cited and face fines or community service.