Police have arrested five teenage suspects in a three-day crime spree that damaged cars, homes and other property last week in southwest Las Vegas.
One adult, identified by police as Randall McCall, and four high school age juveniles, whose names have not been released, are suspected to have been involved in at least 43 reported incidents of vandalism — 15 on Thursday, 14 on Friday and 14 on Saturday.
“These guys were driving all over the area and chucking rocks, boulders and bricks through windows,” said Capt. James Dixon of the Metropolitan Police Department’s Southwest Area Command.
The suspects said they had been victims of vandalism, so they were taking matters into their own hands by retaliating, Dixon said.
“These were just dumb thugs who had nothing better to do than destroy people’s properties,” he said.
The crimes mostly occurred in an area between Desert Inn Road and Charleston Boulevard, and Valley View Boulevard and Fort Apache Road.
Two windows were broken in a home near Torrey Pines Drive and Desert Inn Road.
“It wasn’t like they were stealing things. It was pure vandalism,” said the home’s resident, Michelle Muntean. “I don’t know why people do things like that. They would have hurt somebody had someone been in the room when it happened.”
Muntean said their street is “normally pretty quiet.”
The community is not gated, but she and her neighbors are looking into putting up security cameras.
She said her windows will cost about $400 to replace.
Three windows were broken at a home across the street from Muntean.
“It doesn’t really shake me,” said Leo Mainwal, who has lived in the area for 30 years. “It was spring break. I expect kids doing that stuff from time to time.”
When he was awakened by the crash of a rock coming through his window early Saturday morning, he was worried someone was breaking in. But once he realized what it was, he said he wasn’t too concerned.
“I’m bothered by the damage,” Mainwal said. “But I’m not in a panic about it or anything.”
Mainwal had his three windows replaced Monday afternoon, costing him $500.
Damage was not limited to windows of homes and cars. One resident’s grand piano was damaged by a brick thrown through a window, police said.
Police are still working to get an estimate of the total damage, but they already know it is extensive enough that the suspects will face felony charges of malicious destruction of private property.
McCall, 19, is also being charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
When the first instances of vandalism were reported, police had difficulty tracking down the suspects because as soon as they responded to one incident, they would receive a call of another similar incident a few miles away, Dixon said.
Police got a possible lead from one resident whose security camera captured the image of a vehicle used in the crime.
After several nights of dozens of reports, police spotted the car full of young men early Sunday morning. According to police, an officer pulled over the suspicious vehicle and found several large rocks in the car.
Upon questioning, the young men confessed to the crimes and were arrested, police said.
“We’re going to work with the district attorney’s office to maximize this,” Dixon said.
Dixon wonders why the parents did not know where their children were late at night.
“If parents would start holding their children responsible, then the police wouldn’t have to be baby-sitting,” he said.
Contact reporter Scott Spjut at email@example.com or (702) 383-0279.