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Rash of vandalism reported

Mellisa Murphy

A disturbing trend in juvenile crime continued on Tuesday when three 16-year-olds were arrested in connection with the damage of several vehicles in the Gardnerville/Minden area.

According to a Douglas County Sheriff’s press release, more than $7,000 in damage was incurred to 25-30 vehicles in the Ranchos, Chichester Estates and Minden between 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m. Tuesday.

That incident followed on the heels of several vehicle burglaries that occurred Monday in Chichester Estates, involving two 18-year-old males and a 13-year-old female.

“There tends to be an upswing in the frequency of juvenile crime during the summer,” said Scott Cook, chiefjuvenile probation officer for Douglas County. “We haven’t really experienced that trend here in the last few years. The juvenile crime rate here has been slowly declining.”

The DCSO responded to a call late Tuesdat from a resident who heard breaking glass and observed stones being thrown at parked cars.

The male suspects drove a blue 1978 Volvo through residential neighborhoods throwing large stones, some the size of baseballs and footballs, through windows of parked cars. A few of the stones weighed nearly 25 pounds, according to the sheriff’s office.

The damaged vehicles include a 1983 Ford Escort, a 1987 Mercury, a 1998 Honda, a 1991 Dodge, and a 1991 Ford, as well as several others.

Many of the cars were parked outside the victims’ residences. One of the victims was visiting from Carson City, said Sgt. Lance Modispacher.

“There was no apparent motive or pattern to what kind of cars they destroyed,” Modispacher said. “Victims were asked if they knew anyone they had perhaps upset who would want to destroy their property. They said no.”

The victims were very upset, some verging on tears as they answered questions and others extremely agitated, Modispacher said.

One victim, Katie Ingram, said that her brother-in-law, Keith Sokoloski, had heard a loud noise outside that night, but went back to sleep.

“The next day, I let him drive my truck to work, where he noticed a large dent and a rock in the back of the truck. I’m really angry, because that truck has special meaning,” she said. “It belonged to my late husband, and I’ve tried really hard to keep it in good condition.”

Ingram said the damage to her vehicle, a white 1990 Isuzu pickup, will probably be expensive to repair.

The three suspects were stopped near Second Street in Minden when Deputy Will Lynch spotted a vehicle matching the description given by dispatch. When questioned, one of the young men confessed to the crimes, implicating his carmates, while the other two remained silent. Lynch noticed two large rocks inside the vehicle.

“Apparently, the three teen-agers had told their parents that they were going to the movies,” Modispacher said.

They face charges of felony destruction of property. A hearing is scheduled for July 25 at 1:15 p.m.