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Police charge three with vandalism in city limits

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Fourteen separate incidents reported

By Chris Sardelli

Hours after a string of vandalisms throughout Lancaster left many businesses with shattered windows, a trio of men were arrested for the spree.

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Justin Dewitt Beaty, 22, Devin Tyler Williams, 21, and Carl Thomas Cole, 25, all of Lancaster, were each charged with 14 counts of malicious injury to property Tuesday, Nov. 5, according to a Lancaster Police Department press release.

Lancaster Police Capt. Scott Grant said the rash of vandalisms were discovered at about 2:45 a.m. Tuesday,  when a patrol officer noticed a shattered window at a downtown business.

According to a police incident report, the first broken window was found at the Maytag Appliance Center, 115 S. Main St.

Officers noted in the report that it appeared something was used to shatter the window from the outside, though the object used could not be found.

After inspecting the rest of the downtown area, officers found two other vandalized businesses, Downtown Craze Salon, 125 S. Main St., and the former Humana Cafe, 213 S. Main St., according to multiple police incident reports.

In both of those cases, the majority of the front windows were shattered from the outside. Similar to Maytag, the object used to break the windows was not found at the scene.

“In the hours to follow, officers would learn of numerous other like incidents, some discovered by officers, others reported by citizens as the morning progressed,” Grant said in the release. “By mid-morning, officers were looking at 14 incidents of vandalism, with others yet to be reported.”

The location of the vandalisms included the greater downtown area, as well as businesses along S.C. 9 Bypass and the Forest Hills area. A full list of businesses that were vandalized had not been released as of  Thursday, Nov. 7.

With each new 911 call, investigators began gathering evidence and developing leads, and by Tuesday afternoon began interviewing the three men.

As a result of those interviews, investigators charged Beaty, Williams, and Cole, the release said.

Grant said the three men were also interviewed by Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office investigators and may face charges for similar vandalisms in the county’s jurisdiction.

“It is certain that once all information is compiled, the three will face additional charges,” he said.

Investigators estimated the damage caused to the multiple businesses is in excess of $10,000, the release said.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, officers were still searching for other vandalism incidents which may be related.

Officers ask anyone who may also be a victim to contact either the police department at (803) 283-1171, (803) 283-3313, or the LPD’s anonymous tip hotline at (803) 289-6040, or contact the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office’s non-emergency line at (803) 283-4136.

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416