- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) - Officials at California’s Joshua Tree National Park have closed two remote mining sites following reports of theft and vandalism.

Superintendent David Smith ordered the closures Tuesday for the El Sid Mine and Carey’s Castle attractions. He also ordered inventories at the sites, along with increased patrols and surveillance.

Officials did not detail what items were stolen or say when the areas will reopen.

El Sid Mine operated off and on beginning in the 1880s. Carey’s Castle is an old prospector’s cabin fashioned from a Native American shelter in boulders.

Vandalism has been a problem at the park over the past few years. In 2015, a French street artist tagged a rock and posted the design online, sparking a social media fury. In 2013, graffiti on granite boulders prompted the closure of Rattlesnake Canyon.

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