ROXBURY, NJ – Ten stepping stones placed in front of the Roxbury Public Library last year as part of an Eagle Scout project were mysteriously removed this week in what appears to be a case of theft or vandalism.
The disappearance of the slate slabs was noticed July 19 by Gheri Dasappan, whose son, Gabriel, installed them last summer as an Eagle Scout project. The project included the removal of old trees and shrubs, installation of a seating area, creation of flower beds and bird baths as well as the stepping stone footpath.
“One of my things in the morning is to go around and check his garden best as I can,” said Dasappan, of Succasunna. “When I passed through, I noticed there were spaces in between the stones and impressions where stones used to be.”
Dasappan took some photos and mentioned the situation to staffers at the library.
Jim Hecht, the library’s interim director, said he reported the matter to Roxbury police. "I just wanted to have it on record that this happened," he said. "We don't have any security cameras here."
Dasappan said the police were going to increase their patrolling of the area.
The Dasappans donated the stepping stones for the project Dasappan said they had some extras after doing some work in their backyard.
“The weird thing is they took every other one,” Dasappan said. “At first I thought maybe the library relegated them to a different part of the library property but they said they didn’t. It’s just very weird.
Dasappan said her son, now 15, is “not happy” about the matter. “He can’t understand why people would do that,” she said.
The library work isn’t the only library related Eagle Scout project that suffered this year. A “little library” box installed at Horseshoe Lake Park by Boy Scout Hunter Webber was also vandalized, according to Roxbury Councilman Bob DeFillippo.