KENNEBUNK — Vandals knocked over concrete benches and overturned portable outhouses along Gooch’s Beach early Sunday morning, an act Town Manager Mike Pardue called "disgraceful" and "not reflective of who we are as a community."

The Kennebunk Police Department is seeking the public’s assistance in finding those responsible for the damage, which was discovered by officers on patrol around 4 a.m. Sunday morning. Police Lt. Eric O’Brien said a total of nine memorial benches, valued at $900 each, along the sidewalk on Beach Avenue in front of Gooch’s Beach were knocked over, and broken. Two portable outhouses located between Middle and Gooch’s Beach at Narragansett Point were pushed over too, O’Brien said.

Pardue said none of the damaged benches are able to be repaired, and will all have to be replaced. All have memorial plaques on them, and were purchased by people in memory of loved ones. Pardue said the town's insurance will likely cover the cost of replacement. He said the $900 price tag does not include the cost of labor to replace the benches and reset the memorial plaques, all of which were saved.  

“The lack of respect shown by those responsible is disgraceful,” Pardue said. “These benches are in memory of loved ones and they are used daily. The timing couldn’t be worse with the wonderful weather that we are going to experience over the long holiday weekend, and the number of beach visitors we expect.”

The police are looking for help from anyone who may have heard or seen anything suspicious, or anyone who may have surveillance cameras on their houses in the area of the damage. Anyone with information or any related tips can contact the Kennebunk Police Department at 207-985-6121.

Pardue said the town will replace the benches as quickly as possible, and several benches still remain for visitors to use. He said residents of the beach area take great pride in their community and their neighborhood.

“The lack of respect shown with this was surprising, and it’s not reflective of who we are as a community,” Pardue said.