Police searching for man who broke into and vandalized USS Constitution

But over the weekend, an intruder slipped on board after hours, causing some damage, and raising security concerns.

>> Read more trending news 

The man was escorted off the ship and he ran away before he could be identified.

A search of “Old Ironsides,” which is currently in dry dock for restoration, revealed some damage to a state room door spindle below deck.

Police immediately issued a release to all branches asking officers to be on the lookout for the man who was caught on surveillance footage.

“It’s a failure of security somewhere along the line,” WFXT’s security expert Dan Linskey said. “It’s definitely a problem. Definitely a challenge no one should have been able to get on that vessel and spend any significant time there, without getting a response.”

The damage to the USS Constitution was minimal and the commander of the ship said it is mostly repaired.

But there is concern about the security lapse that allowed this intruder on board this important landmark in the first place.

“We want to have it open to tourists, we want to make sure we are allowing access to that landmark in a reasonable and sensitive manner. That not only protects the historic artifact, but also the people who visit during the day,” said Linskey.

The USS Constitution was launched in 1797 and is the oldest ship in the U.S. Navy that is still commissioned. It is best known for its battles during the War of 1812 against ships the HMS Guerriere, HMS Java, HMS Cyane and HMS Levant.

In 1940, it was named the symbolic flagship of the Navy.

USS Constitution is set to be refloated in July.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X