published: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Investigators have identified the three people they say shot out windows at more than 70 locations around the county over the weekend.
"As a result of excellent teamwork between the Lake Placid and Sebring Police Departments and the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, three persons have been identified in connection with over 75 incidents of criminal mischief that occurred last weekend throughout Highlands County," a press release from the HCSO said Thursday. "These persons used BB guns to shoot glass windows out at numerous locations causing significant damage.
Sheriff (Susan) Benton expressed the gratitude of the community as the agencies worked together on this case.
She said, "Thank you, team, for utilizing all of your resources to find these bad guys."
Of the 75 cases, many will be felony charges due to the damage inflicted on the businesses, the HCSO release said.
Additional charges that may be levied include firing a deadly missile into a building and grand theft.
"This joint investigation exhibited the great working relationship of the Highlands County Sheriff's Office, Sebring Police Department and the Lake Placid Police Department. Investigators from each agency spent many hours working very hard for the businesses throughout Highlands County," Lake Placid Police Chief James Fansler said in the press release.
"That hard work resulted in giving some closure to many businesses owners who face the financial burden of replacing the glass in their businesses."
When detectives from all three agencies met on Tuesday to compile their findings in these cases, a silver minivan emerged as a likely suspect vehicle. Other information led the detectives to believe there were three white male subjects in connection with this vehicle.
The information gathered by detectives was provided to the Sheriff's Office Safe Neighborhood Unit (SNU) to be on the lookout for this particular vehicle and subjects. Tuesday evening, SNU member Deputy Sheriff Jason Mulligan observed a vehicle matching the description of the potential suspect vehicle and was able to conduct a traffic stop.
The occupants of this vehicle also matched the description of the subjects provided by the detectives.
Information garnered through that traffic stop was provided to detectives from all three agencies who took the investigation from there and interviewed the subjects. Information from the interviews led detectives to believe they had the right persons in this case, the release said.
"This was a great job of collaborating together to come to the successful conclusion of these cases," Sebring Police Commander Steve Carr said. "Good old fashioned police work, as evidenced by the dedication of the investigators involved, drew this situation to a quick conclusion. Everyone did an excellent job."
Chief Fansler added, "I personally am very proud of the investigators involved from all agencies. Some very good investigative work was exhibited in this effort."
Sweetwater (by: Blindman~ - 3/29/2013)
I could almost hear Judge Kelly say; "those boys must have had a little sweetwater to do such a thing".
Reference: Vandals (by: Another Happy Resident - 3/29/2013)
...and take the gun, mount it on a plaque to be displayed in the police station.
the van... (by: Ray napper - 3/28/2013)
I think that and the property he used to have if any will be sold to pay the judgment that will follow him for years...BUT,,,Great Job by our local LEOs. Great Job. Now that's the kind of work they can be proud of.
Vandals (by: Happy resident. - 3/28/2013)
Great job by the law enforcement officers, congratulations.
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