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Vandals target 'Story Walks' for children in the Poconos

A project that places children's stories along popular walking routes, is turning into more of a "who done it" tale in the Poconos.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — At Western Pocono Community Library near Brodheadsville, you'll find stories inside and out.

Four-year-old Olivia likes stories.

"Do you like stories about princesses? Yes. Do you like to read? Yes. Do you know how to read? Yes," said Olivia, 4-years-old.

It's why the library put together story walks for children just learning how to read.  

"We take a book, put them, we take the pages and laminate them because from the weather and then we put them on the post and we scatter them throughout the trail," said Patti Weiss, Western Pocono Community Library.

There were four trails where you could find tales.  The one outside of the library is about a leaf thief. 

Fitting, seeing as directors believe someone is stealing the fun out of the project.

"It started with the Chestnuthill Park over on 715. That was back in August. Our story walk was completely destroyed. It was put up on wooden stakes and the pages are taped and velcroed and stapled. They were torn off, we are missing several stakes, and others are completely broken so we cannot put it back up right now," said Weiss.

At the Ross Township Community Park, more than a dozen story book stakes were damaged and eventually cleaned up. Walkers who take to this trail tell us they've even noticed the lack of color.

"I don't even know how long they've been gone. I just know they are gone and I don't even know who took them," said John Fetkowitz, Ross Township.

While the story walks look simple, supplies cost money.

If you ask Dan Tartaglione, the loss is costing children, like little Olivia, a fun learning experience. 

"Yeah, well we like to walk around. She gets to look at them. Again, it's probably just some teenagers. I'm sure. What are you going to do? It's the world we live in," said Dan Tartaglione, Albrightsville.

While the character in leaf thief ended up being the wind, the devious character of this story has yet to be named.

If you have any information call Western Pocono Community Library at (570) 992-793 or the West End Park and Open Space Commission (570) 992-9733.