3/5/2013 5:08:00 PM Wayward teens cause thousands in damages
A couple teenagers sneaking out in the middle of the night have caused damages totalling approximately $25,000. Two young men, 13 and 14, both of Othello, made their way down several streets the weekend of Feb. 10, puncturing car tires, breaking windows and setting a couple fires. A total of 69 cars were affected. On several, the young men punctured between two and four tires with a knife. They also broke out several car windows. They also keyed one car. There was also damage to some screens at Othello High School and some to the outside of a church. Police stopped the two young men on that night and asked them a few questions. They had soot on their hands, police chief Steve Dunnagan said. Over the course of the night, they received reports of two different fires. In the case of one, a mattress was set on fire close to a fence, which also caught on fire. In another case, a grass field on the edge of town was set on fire. The detectives did a great job at putting things together, Dunnagan said, and put some surveillance on the boys they stopped earlier. They caught the two sneaking out of windows of their homes the next night. One boy confessed readily and showed the officers where exactly the two had gone the night before and what damage they had caused. The police department is just finishing collecting claims from people around town and compiling information. Then, they will send the information to the prosecutor's office, Dunnagan said. The two could face multiple felony charges, he said. Because the crimes occurred at one time, they will likely face only one charge of malicious mischief. This charge is a class B felony, carrying with it a maximum of 10 years in jail and up to $20,000 in fines. They could also face an arson charge, another class B felony. The third charge is reckless burning, for the grass fire, a class C felony, which could result in a maximum of five years in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.