Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three boys were arrested Monday night, accused of vandalizing at least 140 vehicle windows in south Minneapolis.
Police say the three — ages 11, 15 and 16 — were arrested around 10:15 p.m. Monday after officers received a report that more vehicle windows had been smashed.
According to police, the boys smashed an additional 14 windows between 27th and 37th avenues and between 34th and 44th streets on Monday after breaking more than 126 windows the day before.
Witnesses pointed officers to a vehicle that matched the description of the suspected car at 38th Street and Columbus Avenue. Police found evidence, like a baseball bat, inside that suggested the occupants of the vehicle could be responsible for the damage.
“This car was out, my sister’s car was out and they were just smashing the neighbor’s car when I got outside,” said Jeff Hall.
Hall was getting ready for bed early Sunday morning when he heard the sound of smashing glass coming from outside. It wasn’t until he got outside that he learned that sound was coming from his car, his sister’s car — who was visiting from out of town — and pretty much every other vehicle on the street.
“We had this car get the back window smashed out, which was kind of a burn because we keep the bare minimum insurance on it,” Hall said.
It cost Hall $200 to get his car fixed. But he has some vindication now that the three have been arrested.
Police say the 15-year-old boy was driving at the time of the arrest. They say he did not have a driver’s license.
In total, the three smashed 140 windows before being caught. But police say they don’t think that’s all.
“We expect that number to climb throughout the day as people discover that their vehicle was damaged last night,” said Sgt. William Palmer of the Minneapolis Police Department.
That’s not surprising to Stephanie Metcalf, who is waiting for the new windshield for her 2011 Volkswagen to be sent from out of state.
“I’m really mortified this happened. I hope they caught the right people and they can face the appropriate consequences for it,” Metcalf said.
Because they are juveniles, little information has been released about the three boys who were arrested.
They were processed at the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center, and even though they were released, they could still face stiff penalties.
Hall said he has some ideas for how the vandals can make up for their damage.
“I’m wondering where the parents are here. One hundred and forty cars in all and if everyone is paying $200, let’s just hope those kids are going to be paying for it. Or at least in community service so they can help these neighborhoods out,” he said.
The total damage to vehicles in that area is estimated between $100,000 to $200,000.