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Slingshot-armed vandals wreak havoc in Perham

Three boys, armed with slingshots and an assortment of marbles, are responsible for breaking at least a dozen windows in a weekend vandalism spree.

Shattering the windows of homes and vehicles, the boys launched the marbles at a variety of targets in the Perham and Dent areas. The spree lasted from about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night, January 3, until the early hours of Sunday.

After receiving some tips about the make and condition of the vehicle driven by the suspects, police were able to locate the parties responsible for the crimes. Those involved include a 17-year-old who lives out of state, and two local boys, also age 17.

According to Perham Police Officer Todd Sandahl, police were able to obtain confessions from the three boys on Monday.

The first vandalism report in Perham was called in a little after 8 p.m. on Saturday, when a woman noticed that someone shot a hole in the passenger side window of her van. When targeted, the van was parked in the Barrel O' Fun parking lot, which allowed officers to look at the security video and get an idea of what the suspects' vehicle looked like.

The video revealed a SUV driving near the complainant's vehicle at 7:38 p.m. The woman whose van was vandalized was also able to determine the object used to break her window. She found a marble sitting in the seat on the driver's side of the vehicle.

Over the next several hours, a handful of complaints came in about vehicle and house windows being shattered by marble-like objects. According to Perham Police Officer Ron Smith, the marbles used in the vandalisms were a variety of sizes.

As of Monday, a total of ten marble-related vandalism incidents had been reported in the city of Perham.

In addition to all the homes and vehicles hit, some guests staying at Perham's Crossings Inn and Suites were startled when a marble was shot through the window of their hotel room. The window, which is located on the back side of the hotel, was shot at sometime between midnight and 2 a.m.

As for the suspects' motivation behind the vandalism spree, it appears they had little more objective than stirring up some mayhem. "I think one of them made the comment that they did it for 'a rush,'" said Sandahl.

A report detailing the vandalism incidents will be sent to the County Attorney's Office for review. It is likely the boys will be held financially responsible for each of the windows broken during their escapade.

"Glass is not cheap when it comes to paying for restitution," Sandahl advised.