The Oberlin Review
<< Front page News February 10, 2006

Cars Around College Vandalized in Spree

Some students may have had a nasty surprise waiting for them upon their return to Oberlin this semester. A spree of vandalism around Mudd Library in January left 19 cars and two security vehicles damaged and looted.

On Jan. 25 around 12:30 a.m., Safety and Security notified the Oberlin Police Department that cars had been vandalized. They had received reports that four males dressed in dark clothing were smashing car windows and looting vehicles.

According to the police report, the on-duty officer caught up with four juvenile males matching the description on South Professor Street near the Community Services Center. The group ran around the building and split up. Two went over a barbed-wire fence into the Oberlin Light and Power facility, and a third suspect was observed going east from the facility near the Quick and Delicious restaurant.

The two suspects inside the fenced area were told to stop but they continued running. The suspect outside the restaurant was apprehended. Once at the police station, Safety and Security reported several vehicle break-ins as well as one at a tennis supply shed and a burglary at a dorm.

At this point, the apprehended boy’s mother arrived at the station and he began to cooperate. He gave the names of two of his accomplices, claiming that he had no part in the thefts himself. He also admitted to underage drinking and smoking, once a pack of Marlboros was found on his person.

The area around the tennis shed that Safety and Security had reported broken into bore footprints matching the shoes of three of the four boys: the boy at the station and the boys who escaped through the Light and Power facility. The latter tracks were followed to a fourth subject’s house. Police connected the tracks to the two boys that the suspect at the police station had previously named.

This final suspect, to whose house the other boys’ footprints lead, is now believed to be the fourth accomplice in the vandalism and thefts. He claimed that he didn’t leave his house the whole night.

Nevertheless, all three boys were taken to the police station, where the first suspect was still being held, and placed in separate cells.

All four suspects were charged with burglary, breaking and entering, two counts of criminal trespassing, tampering with a coin machine, criminal damage, obstruction of official business, underage consumption and curfew violation. The suspect who was found with the Marlboros was also charged with underage possession of cigarettes.

One of the boys who ran around the Light and Power facility was already under official house arrest and incurred a probation violation charge.

“A lot of the people we deal with as far as juveniles go are ones we’ve dealt with in the past,” said Captain Barnes of the Oberlin Police Department. “The officers were able to recognize these kids when they saw them.”

The boys were transferred to Lorain Juvenile Center. The incident is still under investigation by the Juvenile Court.


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