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Teenagers admit to thefts, vandalism

October 30, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

Five teenagers admitted in Washington County Juvenile Court Wednesday that they were involved in several thefts and vandalism incidents that took place over the summer in and near Williamsport.

An admission in juvenile court is the equivalent of a guilty plea in adult court.

The four boys and a girl, ages 15 to 17, are from Williamsport and Hagerstown. Their names are not being published because they are juveniles.

Two 17-year-old boys each admitted to counts of motor vehicle theft, and several felony malicious destruction of property, felony theft, and misdemeanor theft charges.

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A 17-year-old girl admitted to one count of misdemeanor malicious destruction. A 16-year-old boy admitted to conspiracy to commit felony theft and misdemeanor theft.

A 15-year-old boy admitted to multiple felony malicious destruction, felony theft and misdemeanor theft charges.

They collectively entered the admissions in connection to the June 27 theft of a 2002 Honda Civic; the June 4 vandalism of a privately owned school bus and the driveway where it was parked; and the theft at various locations in June and July of stereo equipment, compact discs, tools, a purse and other personal items from cars and trucks in the Williamsport area.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Viky Pauler said that the investigation began in June. Once one of the boys involved was identified, interviews with him led to the investigation of the others.

Investigators from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland State Police Hagerstown barracks searched the homes of two of the boys who admitted to the offenses. Stolen property was found at both homes, Pauler said.

The sentencing phase for the defendants was delayed until next month. None was committed Wednesday to a juvenile facility.

Two adults also have been charged in the crime spree.

After the hearing, Sheriff's Investigator Greg Alton said police still have several unclaimed pieces of property that were found during the police searches.

Alton said the items likely were stolen in Williamsport, Maugansville, Halfway, Cearfoss or Clear Spring, and asked anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a theft from a vehicle between June 1 and July 9 to call him at 240-313-2185.

Alton said the items include a vehicle lock-out kit and a first-aid kit; several car stereos; and two cases of compact discs.

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