Arrest Made in Christmas Decoration Vandalism

By: Courtney Hayes
By: Courtney Hayes

It started out as a prank, and ended with one teen in jail charged with felony criminal mischief.

Lynn Haven police have arrested a 17-year-old Lynn Haven man in connection with close to 20 reported cases of vandalism to Christmas decorations in three upscale neighborhoods.

Now, they need your help to find others involved in the prank.

Seventeen-year-old Gregory Charles Weintritt has been turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Lynn Haven Police say he's partly responsible for stealing and destroying dozens of decorations from Northridge to the Country Club.

They're now looking for three or four accomplices that they say helped Weintritt destroy $3,000 worth of decorations.

"We're trying to talk to people who know the teens. They should just fess up now, because this is going to follow them. This is a felony charge. That's very serious," says Lynn Haven Police Chief David Messer.

Many of the effected residents spent a lot of time and money to make Christmas shine bright for their children. They say they're relieved those responsible could be brought to justice.

"I think they should be reprimanded, so it doesn't happen again. I think they should get community service or something like that," says Juliette Josten, whose house was vandalized.

Chief David Messer says if found guilty Weintritt will likely have to do community service, as well as pay back the $3,000 dollars worth of decorations they say he destroyed.

"People probably had something done to their decorations, but didn't report it. They need to so they can get restitution and get back the stuff to them," says Chief Messer.

Chief Messer says it's only a matter of time before they catch the other vandals.

He says someone is likely to talk or fess up, but he says residents still need to keep a watch out for suspicious persons in their neighborhoods late at night.

And report any vandalism to the Lynn Haven Police Department. There number is 265-4111 or Crimestoppers at 785-TIPS.


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