Damage was reported to a light beacon at one of the newly constructed county radio towers that occurred sometime in the first two weeks of this month.
Deputies responded to the tower site in the 5800 block of County Road 208 Monday afternoon and discovered the beacon light not functioning. A tower company employee climbed the tower and discovered two holes in the L.E.D. lenses from a suspected high-powered rifle.
The beacon light was atop the 250-foot 800 MHz tower and has an estimated cost of $10,000 to replace the lens.
The lights allow all air traffic to observe the tower, especially under cloudy conditions or at night. Since these towers are a new addition to the skyline, it is especially dangerous for aircraft, according to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.
Communication towers fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission, and due to the amount of damage, makes the crime a federal felony with possible jail time for a conviction.
Anyone with any information concerning the identity of whoever was involved in the vandalism of the tower is asked to call the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office at 904-824-8304 or Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS.