Vietnam Memorial Vandals Caught 9/10/12
CBS 7 News
September 10, 2012
Big Spring, TX - Jerry Groves with the Big Spring Vietnam Memorial Committee says he took it personally after a group of vandals caused thousands of dollars worth of damages last month, the group also stole parts of the fallen soldier memorial, one of the most respected items there.
“It's like they don't care what this monument is about,” he said, “Or they don't know what this Memorial is about.”
The committee began to lose hope, when last week a bag appeared on the steps to the Memorial's storage shed and attached was an apology letter.
“We are certain this is the end of it,” said Sgt. Tony Everett with The Big Spring Police. He says it wasn't until a CrimeStoppers tip that led them to four 17-year-old males: Nicholas Sharp, Kevin Logan Towner, Devan James Cook and Anthony Lewis.
Police arrested the students at Big Spring High School Monday morning.
Everett says they confessed to vandalizing the property and wiping their finger prints off of the evidence.
“Three are charged with tampering with evidence,” he said, “Four are charged with criminal mischief, a state jail felony.”
He says the group returned all of the stolen items and the letter is now considered evidence in their investigation.
“Damage is done and you can't fix it with a letter,” Everett said.
“Our feelings have not changed one bit,” Groves added, “They will be held accountable regardless of the letter.”
Groves says he read the page long letter written lightly in pencil that said “they didn't mean to do it.”
“What did they mean to do?” he questioned, “That's what I want to know and that's what the committee wants to know, is what did they mean to do?”
He says the teens now need to learn a lesson: one of history and the law.
The Committee said a similar thing happened about 12 years ago where a group of teens vandalized the Memorial with graffiti, those teens were ordered to serve 700 hours of community service.
Many veterans say if that is part of this group's punishment, then they will have plenty of work for them to do.