2012-04-12 / Front Page

Juveniles caught after vandalism spree


PROPERTY DAMAGE The former Lickity Splitz in the Village of Roscommon was vandalized over Easter weekend. Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department also received reports of cars in the parking lot of Gary Franz Auto Exchange, located next door, that were damaged and thefts from vehicles. Det./ Sgt. John Wybraniec said the stolen property has been recovered and that two juvenile petitions will be forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for review. (Left) Graffiti was spray painted on buildings during the spree, including this symbol on the CRAF Center. (CHP) PROPERTY DAMAGE The former Lickity Splitz in the Village of Roscommon was vandalized over Easter weekend. Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department also received reports of cars in the parking lot of Gary Franz Auto Exchange, located next door, that were damaged and thefts from vehicles. Det./ Sgt. John Wybraniec said the stolen property has been recovered and that two juvenile petitions will be forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for review. (Left) Graffiti was spray painted on buildings during the spree, including this symbol on the CRAF Center. (CHP) Deputies from the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office responded to numerous complaints of vandalism in the Village of Roscommon on April 9.

According to a press release, over the course of the investigation, 13 complaints of crimes including “breaking and entering of a business, malicious destruction of property (including broken windows and damaged vehicles), larceny from a motor vehicle, and assorted graffiti throughout the Village” were reported.

During the monthly sheriff’s department report to the village council on April 9, Deputy Bill Tatrai listed some of the businesses that the two juvenile suspects targeted. He said the two offenders were linked to crimes at the BP gas station, Green’s Tavern, the CRAF Center, Lickity Splitz, and BC Pizza, among others.

Tatrai said the suspects were identified through surveillance camera footage and footwear impressions.

BC Pizza owner and village trustee Marc McKee said in an April 10 telephone interview, his restaurant was broken into at 2:18 a.m. Monday morning and less than 12 hours later the department had found the suspects.

McKee said this is the first time in the 10 years he has been in business the restaurant was broken into. He said the suspects broke a large pane of glass and broke a random key off in one of his locks. He estimates the total damage could cost around $500. In addition to the damage, there were a few bottles of pop stolen from the restaurant.

“They said they got thirsty,” McKee said was the reason the juveniles broke into the restaurant.

He said the damage done to his property does not justify the motives to break into the restaurant. He added when he reviewed the surveillance tapes he said the two suspects bypassed anything of value including a jar of money.

In response to the crimes, McKee plans to install a surveillance camera to monitor his parking lot and the intersection of Lake and Fifth Streets. Since the intersection is a “main artery” in the center of town, McKee said he will be providing law enforcement with access to the video to help find suspects in any future cases.

McKee said he believes Gary Franz Auto Exchange located at 211 N. Fifth Street was hit the hardest by the suspects.

Owner Gary Franz said in an April 10 telephone interview, two 2010 Dodge Chargers were damaged sometime between the evening of April 7 and the morning of April 9.

On one of the cars he said the taillights were busted out and one of the outside rear view mirrors was damaged. He said the suspects jumped on top of the second car and caved in the roof.

Franz is waiting for the estimated cost of damage from his insurance company, however, he is estimating the damages to be around $4,000.

“It’s too bad, it hurts everyone,” Franz said. “It’s just a big disappointment.”

Like McKee, Franz said he was impressed by the sheriff’s department and the diligence it showed in investigating the case. He added deputies had noted the damage to one car before he had known of the incident. Then when Franz noticed the other damage to the second vehicle he received “help quickly” from the department.

The release stated the officers made contact with the offender’s parents and both confessed to committing the crimes. The office expects to have reports on the incident completed soon and juvenile petitions will be forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney for review and authorization on appropriate charges.

Detective-Sergeant John Wybraniec said in an April 10 telephone interview, when the suspects were questioned as to why they committed the crimes he said he didn’t get much of an answer. He said he thinks the situation “just escalated” and the two started out with graffiti, then moved on to breaking windows, then on to larger more costly damage to the cars and ultimately breaking into BC Pizza.

“We don’t have a good answer,” Wybraniec said about the motives of the young men.

Wybraniec told the Resorter that this case of vandalism does not seem to be linked to the damage that occurred at the Roscommon Village Cemetery last summer.

“I confronted the young men about that,” Wybraniec said. “We’ve been unable to connect that.”

He added he still thinks the damage at the cemetery was committed “by someone a little older.” He added there is also no connection to the tire slashing that also occurred last summer either.

He said more information on the weekend’s vandalism could be released within the next two weeks.

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