Police: Man who vandalized $20K fountain in custody

Vandals destroy $20,000 fountain, reward offered
Published: Jun. 3, 2013 at 7:52 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2013 at 4:31 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Police say the vandal who destroyed a $20,000 antique fountain at a downtown Charleston home has been taken into custody.

Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis said 25-year-old George Michael Kirkpatrick, of Columbia, turned himself in Thursday on charges he destroyed the fountain at a Radcliffe Street home on June 1.

He is being held in the Charleston County Detention Center on a charge of damage to personal property over $5,000.  Francis said the investigation was ongoing.

The homeowner, David Skinner, says his home is a target because it is just a block away from some of the King Street bars.

"Trash, people urinating in the yard, constantly ripping pickets off of our fence," Skinner said. "I don't believe we would have gotten number one tourist destination if the world could see what happens two o'clock in the morning in Charleston."

Early June 1, Skinner said vandals went too far and destroyed an antique fountain in the front yard.

"Retailed for around twenty grand in my antique shop and it's over there broken in a million pieces," he said.

What the culprit apparently didn't know is that Skinner has surveillance cameras.

Skinner believes the cameras show the guy who damaged the fountain leaving after the crime.

"It's amazing that they're going into a fenced yard. It's really sad that we live in historic Charleston, a beautiful place, everybody wants to come to, and you have to put up with this."

Skinner offered a $2,500 dollar reward for information leading to an arrest, but police say it was a Crime Stoppers tip that led to Kirkpatrick's arrest.

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