JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- Hikers last week filed deafening complaints with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office about how inner-city crime has made its way into the high country.
The beautiful colors of fall twinkle in the fading daylight along Meadow View Trail in O'Fallon Park near Kittredge. But that natural beauty has been overcome by an unnatural act.
"We treasure our mountains and our parks and for someone to go up there and spray paint on them, spray paint on Mother Nature, in our backyard in Colorado. It's not something we laugh at," Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Techmeyer said.
A vandal or vandals sprayed their disregard for the public park in thick black paint. They tagged at least four trees and five rocks.
Another rock along Meadow View Trail served as a graffiti artist's canvas. It seems vandalism in the parks is becoming a trend in Colorado and across the country.
Last month, a vandal got caught on camera spray painting rock outcroppings on Lookout Mountain. And in Oregon, vandals toppled an ancient iconic rock formation that stood for thousands of years.
"It's really sad to see someone destroy nature like this," hiker Brenda Ostermann said.
She and other hikers said it's sad people treat God's country like a rundown, neglected inner-city alley.
"We live in such a beautiful state and there no reason for it," hiker Jennifer Seid said.
"There are so many other ways to express yourself other than putting it on trees or rocks," hiker Jessica Feuer said.
Investigators want hikers to pay attention to this one tag in particular: "lil dubz." They hope to bring him big trouble.
"It's not just a slap on the wrist, and restitution charges would apply, as well as the cost to clean it up," Techmeyer said.
That cost will bring it back to its natural state -- where people and animals play freely in a playground that took the earth so long to create.
The sheriff's office said it doesn't know if the spray paint can be removed from the trees and rocks.
Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 303-271-5612.
The suspect or suspects face a misdemeanor charge of defacing public property.