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Teenager Arrested in Iowa Construction Site Vandalism Case

An Ottumwa, Iowa, teenager is in custody, facing a felony charge of criminal mischief for damaging a 100-ton crane, two trucks, and a backhoe at a construction site in late February. The 17-year-old could face a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.

As reported on last month, a backhoe was used to tear the cab off the crane, which was purchased last April for work at the site of a road and bridge construction project. After discovering the vandalism spree, employees of Iowa Bridge and Culvert reported that someone had also driven a loader/backhoe down an excavation site and into a cofferdam, then used an excavator to damage the other equipment before driving it off the jobsite.

The company reported damage estimates are at about $340,000. Contracted to build a four-lane highway bypass around Ottumwa at the site, Iowa Bridge and Culvert had offered a $10,000 reward to see the vandals brought to justice. Evidence at the scene indicates more than one person may have been involved in the construction equipment vandalism, according to the Wapello County Sheriff's Department, which continues to investigate.


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