Roaring River Nature Center burglarized
January 6, 2015
The Barry County Sheriff’s Department is seeking tips after the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center was burglarized and vandalized sometime late Sunday night or early Monday morning. According to Sheriff Mick Epperly, this is one of multiple burglaries at the center over the past couple years.
The Nature Center at Roaring River is a host to multiple displays for park-goers who want to learn more about the wildlife at the park. It is also a hub for multiple guides and maps to help people navigate the park.
During the burglary, the thieves spray painted the windows of the center, possibly to conceal their actions, according to Epperly. Once inside, they stole a four-wheeler, chain saw and also an extensive arrowhead collection that was on display. The burglary also included damage to multiple cases and collections inside.
Epperly said, “This was a very expensive burglary, and we want to see if we can get any information about it. We can keep it anonymous, and hopefully we can get this solved.” Epperly suspects that there were at least two people involved because of the manpower necessary to load some of the stolen items.
The Sheriff’s Department is teaming with the Roaring River State Park Ranger Steve Jabben to work on the case. Epperly said, “This is a joint effort. Either [Jabben] will help us or we’ll help him so we can get it done.”
Epperly said that if anyone has any information regarding the burglary, they can contact the Department during regular business hours at (417) 847-6556 or 24-hours through the non-emergency dispatch line at (417) 847-3121. All callers with information regarding the crime can remain anonymous to protect their identity.