Four teens charged after Odell vandalism rampage

June 22, 2011

On a night when most teens were out celebrating a successful end to a high school career with friends and family, four junior boys from HRVHS were allegedly out celebrating the destruction of the property of others.

According to Hood River County Juvenile Probation Officer and Counselor Amy Hicks, three 16-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy were arrested after allegedly spending the night of June 10 breaking into vehicles, smashing windows and stealing.

Before their arrest on the morning of June 11, the four, whose names are withheld as juveniles, also allegedly poured gasoline onto the front seat of a final victim's vehicle and set it on fire.

Deputy Sergeant Gerry Tiffany took the initial report on the vehicle fire and deputies Brian Rockett and Chris Guertin were the officers involved in the investigation and subsequent arrest of the suspects.

The trail of mayhem and vandalism began with a break-in at the Hood River Valley School District bus barn, where three buses were smashed into and were found later with cut wires. Three fire extinguishers were also stolen from inside the vehicles.

Following a random path around the Odell area, vehicle damage was reported. Broken windows on two Chevy Blazers on AGA Road were reported. Later, in the parking area near Diamond Fruit, all the windows of an Acura were found broken out.

The final vehicle, a Ford Escort, was found vandalized and in flames after gasoline had been poured on the seats and set afire, near a residence along Highway 35.

The morning of June 11, however lead to some clarity in the investigation, according to Hicks.

Working across the street from the vandalized Acura was the vehicle's owner. Sometime close to 8:30 a.m., the victim noticed a young man pull up near his Acura in a pickup truck. He observed the teen get out and pick up a blue mask from the wreckage and prepare to leave.

According to Hicks, the Acura's owner decided to follow the pickup truck, thinking the driver had behaved suspiciously.

After tailing the teen to a residence, the victim called the sheriff's department.

Deputies Guertin and Rockett arrived and questioned the teen, who was later arrested. Possible evidence related to the evening's crimes was seized from the teen's truck.

Following additional investigation, the three other youths were located and arrested.

All were transported and lodged at the NORCOR juvenile facility where stayed until their arraignment on Monday, June 13.

"The saddest thing is that if these boys committed these crimes, they had complete disregard for the property and belongings of others," said Hicks.

The teens have been charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors. Following arraignment, they were placed on conditional release, under the direct supervision of parents or guardians that are court approved.

Each of the four youths were arraigned on the following charges: One count of arson in the first degree (a Class C felony); three counts of criminal mischief in the first degree (a Class C felony); one count of mischief in the second degree (a Class A misdemeanor); four counts of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle (a Class A misdemeanor); one count of theft in the second degree (a Class A misdemeanor); and one count of criminal trespass (a Class C misdemeanor).

Prior to their next court appearance, the teens have been restricted from contact with one another or contacting victims. They may not keep in their possession any objects related to fire starting.

The teens will be appearing in Hood River Circuit Court in front of Judge Paul Crowley on July 18 at 2 p.m., along with their court representatives.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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