Vandals melt ice at popular Brentwood ice rink causing $35K in damages

Vandals melted the ice at a popular ice rink in downtown Brentwood, causing about $35,000 in damage and lost revenue. 

Tom Gregory, owner of Brentwood on Ice said on Saturday morning he realized someone had climbed a fence behind the ice rink and manipulated the valves to a liquid-glycol chiller. 

"The water from this [points to valve] was just running, like somebody left the fire hose running," he said. "Somebody had vandalized and opened those valves and drained the chiller system." 

The ice rink became a lake on what was supposed to be the busiest day of the season because of the annual Brentwood holiday parade. 

"This was just a punch in the kidney. I think this was a crime of opportunity," Gregory said. "I don't think they realized how much damage they would do by opening those drain lines."

A new chiller has been put in place and the rink is beginning to look a lot like it's Christmas self, just days after birthday parties were canceled. 

"These poor kids that are born in the winter, there are very few things for them to go out and do. You know the barbeque and swim parties are out" Gregory said. "We provide something for those kids as well, so that was fairly disappointing."

He believes a customer who stole a pair of skates after a dispute may have returned to vandalize his business. Brentwood police are investigating and the suspect may not be hard to identify. 

"People don't realize when they come here and do a crime, we have them sign a waiver first," Gregory said. "So they do these crimes after they sign the waiver and forget that they already gave us their full name." 

He said the vandals probably didn't know what they were doing. 

"They found a weak point in the system and exploited it. And it was kind of a fluke that ended up being sp damaging and detrimental to us," he said. 

Brentwood on Ice hopes to reopen on Tuesday.