Reporting Vince Gerasole
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CHICAGO (CBS) – What started out as juvenile pranks turned a bit more serious in the northern suburbs. Police in Lindenhurst said four teenagers are in big trouble, suspected of going on a holiday vandalism spree.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, the Christmas Moose in Jacquelyn Penters’ yard was the latest victim, his body knocked over in pieces on a brown suburban lawn.
“My daughter is three and she loves that Christmas Moose. She’ll be sad, she hasn’t even been outside yet,” Penters said Wednesday.
There have been others; an inflatable Frosty the Snowman was slashed to a wrinkled heap and a blow-up Santa on a motorcycle suffered a similar fate. Judging from the casework mounting since Christmas at the Lindenhurst Police Department, there are many more.
“We’re talking about over 30 incidents, at this point, that have been reported. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the lowest number,” said Lindenhurst Police Cmdr. George Moravec.
No one knows why the vandals left the penguins on Robincrest Lane alone, but Tuesday night, authorities caught four male teenagers responsible for the crime spree, all of them 13 or 14 years old. Moments earlier, they had hit the Penters family’s front porch.
“Some of our Christmas trees, lighted Christmas trees, were thrown down to the end of the driveway. Our wreath is missing that was on the front door,” said Penters.
“It appears just to be juvenile pranks, juvenile mischief,” Moravec said.
The Holiday deer were untouched at the entrance to the Mallard Apartments, but up the street, the damage was much more severe.
In the parking lot, vandals slashed tires on 11 cars and, over the past week, they’ve kicked over at least a dozen mailboxes.
Mike Lombardo wasn’t spared. They even left him a holiday present.
“They just knocked it over and they stuffed Christmas lights in it,” Lombardo said.
While Lake County prosecutors decide how to pursue the charges, police said the four teens have been released into the custody of their parents.
“All parents were very cooperative. All seemed quite offended by the incident,” Moravec said.
Police were still tallying a dollar figure for the damage. Lake County prosecutors were determining how to pursue charges against the four teens.