TWENTY road signs and a number of private fences have been damaged by "senseless vandals" as police seek the culprits in a south-west holiday town.
The offenders have bent or pulled the signs from concrete in Port Fairy in a string of offences around the New Year, potentially costing a council thousands to repair and replace.
Moyne Shire Council is "extremely disappointed" the incidents have occurred after finding posts thrown into the Moyne River.
Port Fairy police Sergeant David Walkley said the incidents were likely occurring between 2am and 4am and police were seeking assistance to identify the "senseless vandals".
"Some of the signs have been found in grassland and bushland around town, in people's properties," Sergeant Walkley said.
"They have either bent or wrecked the pole and it all has to be replaced."
He said police were also aware of social media footage showing a youth throwing a shopping trolley from the Port Fairy Library roof.
Sergeant Walkley said there was further damage to a number of private residences' fences, including one on Bank Street.
"I don't know whether they are bored or what their reason for doing it is. You can't come up with a logical explanation why people would be out damaging other people's property in the middle of the night," Sergeant Walkley said.
He said there had been a noticeable change in the demographic of holidaymakers this year, but police could not say whether the offenders were tourists or residents.
"We have been working until 2am and 3am in the morning, and we have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of youths on the street at that hour," Sergeant Walkley said.
"We have noticed because of the coronavirus people haven't been able to travel to their normal holiday destinations and Port Fairy has become a destination for newcomers. I am not accusing them of causing the damage, but I am noticing a different demographic.
"I encourage people to ring Triple-0 at the time they hear or see something. Telling us the next day, although it's great, doesn't give us the opportunity to catch the offenders at the time."
The council's infrastructure and environment director, Trevor Greenberger, said in a " hard-line response" to the issues, officers were performing a daily clean-up of the central business district of Sackville and Banks Street.
"A council representative also today met with Victoria Police to discuss the matter, and are further providing some leads which will be thoroughly investigated," he said.
Thieves stole road signs from Port Fairy during work to build a new roundabout in Bank Street last year, costing the council thousands.
Anyone with with CCTV, dash cam footage or information that might assist with inquiries is asked to contact Port Fairy police on 5568 1007.
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