RCMP identify suspects in vandalism spree

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September 1, 2015 2:14 PM

At a press conference on Sept. 1, Lloydminster RCMP Insp. Suki Manj announced that police have identified five teenagers they believe to be responsible for damaging 72 random vehicles in the early morning hours of Aug. 23. – Josef Jacobson Photo

Lloydminster RCMP have identified five teenage boys they strongly believe are responsible for a recent spate of vandalism which left 72 vehicles with windows, mirrors and lights smashed.

RCMP Insp. Suki Manj says that shortly after the investigation began, leads starting coming in from members of the public which helped police locate the suspects.

“We want to use this incident as an example of how we, as a community, can work together to not only identify who has committed (the crimes), but maybe to prevent it from happening in the future,” Manj said at a press conference on Sept. 1.

On Aug. 23, residents across the city woke to find that their vehicles had been damaged overnight.

Manj says the suspects, one 16-year-old and four 17-years-olds who live outside of town came into Lloydminster for a night out, but ended up with a night of vandalism. He says peer-pressure may have been a factor. Seventy-two reported vehicles were randomly targeted, most of them parked on the street in residential areas.

Manj says a green, older-model sedan was being used in the spree, and is appealing to members of the public who may have video footage from 10 p.m. on Aug. 22 to 4 a.m. on Aug. 23 to come forward to help the RCMP in their investigation. A silver vehicle seen driving through residential areas on the night of the vandalism has been determined to be unrelated to the events.

“We’re still working on this case,” Manj said. “We’re still gathering evidence, however it’s coming together very quickly and very nicely and we hope to have all five individuals before the courts as soon as we can.”

Manj says from his experience these kinds of instances of vandalism generally cost on average about $700 for each vehicle, although it can be difficult to determine without knowing the specifics. By that count, the total cost of the damages could amount to more than $50,000. He says the victims have been notified by the RCMP of how to apply for restitution through the court.

“Every case we deal with is difficult without (the community’s) support. So the mantra that I’ve always lived on and believe in is that the community is what we’re here for and we can’t work in isolation. So its critical to our success,” Manj said.

“On a daily basis we have the community calling, giving us information and it leads to a lot of positive work in our community.”

The suspects are not being held in police custody while the RCMP continues to conduct interviews and gather evidence. Charges are pending.

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