GOULDSBORO — Three youths and their families have reached an agreement with a Gouldsboro Point property owner whose unoccupied Ford Econoline 350 motorhome was heavily vandalized in April.
The three suspects agreed to make monetary restitution and physically work to address the damage they wreaked to the Ford Econoline 350 motorhome. As a result, no criminal charges are being brought at this time.
Gouldsboro Police Officer Landan Scott earlier this week said that the 13-year-old and two 14-year-old boys realized the gravity of their actions after seeing Sgt. Adam Brackett’s related May 6 post on the Police Department’s Facebook page.
“The person or persons responsible for this behavior and destruction should be ashamed of themselves. I assure you that this incident is being investigated further,” the sergeant had warned in the post that was accompanied by stark photos showing the damage.
Publicizing the vandalism also helped Scott identify the perpetrators. Scott said the post brought home to the three youths the reality their actions and potential criminal charges. He said they then told their families what they had done. On May 7, the parents and a guardian acted swiftly, individually taking the boys to meet with the Old County Road property owner about making monetary restitution and amends for the vandalism. They reached an agreement that the boys would pay for the insurance deductible, but also do manual labor for the victim this summer.
From the outset, Scott said the property owner did not want to press charges and sought to avoid the youths potentially having a criminal record at such a young age. He preferred to work out an arrangement with the teens and their families.
“The kids learned their lesson without us having to pursue it criminally,” Scott summed up. “Everybody was very willing to help with what they could.”
“This is exactly the type of outcome we are interested in when it comes to ownership of actions that break the law,” Gouldsboro Police Chief Pat McNulty said last week. He praised the victim for his concern about the youths and the repercussions they faced. “I applaud the parents for quickly and effectively developing a plan to resolve this problem with their children.”
Scott launched his investigation May 6 after Gouldsboro police were notified by the Old County Road property owner of the vandalism on a 60-acre-plus piece of land off the Old County Road, a paved and dirt road, which connects the Gouldsboro Point and Chicken Mill roads. The complainant told police that he had acquired the land as a retreat to spend weekends at during the busy summer months.
Scott said the boys accessed the property via all-terrain vehicles from the Gouldsboro Point Road and possibly the Chicken Mill Road. A microwave was removed from the motorhome and heaved through the front windshield. A rock was thrown through the passenger side and passed through, smashing the driver’s-side window. A television was stomped on. A door was ripped off a structure housing a generator. A refrigerator was stolen. Lighter fluid was found on the ground.
Scott investigated the scene and found multiple sets of fingerprints, distinctive boot treads and other evidence.