Local News

Vandalism arrests made

SEBRING - Three suspects in a county-wide vandalism spree last weekend were arrested Thursday and will face numerous felony and misdemeanor charges, authorities said. Michael W. Brown, 46, 3216 Baxter Ave., and Anthony Keen, 13, 5415 DeSoto Road, both of Sebring, and Cody S. Dayfert, 18, 135 Melear Dairy Road, of Zolfo Springs, were arrested by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office and charged with multiple counts of shooting into a building, grand theft of fire extinguishers and felony criminal mischief. Additional charges are expected to be filed, the sheriff’s office said. Highlands Today names juveniles charged with high-profile crimes and if felony charges are being considered. The fire extinguishers were taken from Sunshine Mini Storage in Sebring, and authorities allege that one may have been used in connection with some of the vandalism, said Nell Hays, public information officer for the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office.
In a news release, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office said three suspects were involved in more than 75 incidents in Sebring, Lake Placid, Avon Park and unincorporated areas where BB guns were used to shoot out glass windows at businesses. Investigators had determined Tuesday that the suspects committed the vandalism while traveling in a silver minivan. Detectives gave the information to the Sheriff’s Office’s Safe Neighborhood Unit and on Tuesday evening, Jason Mulligan, a deputy and member of the unit, saw a vehicle matching the description and stopped it, the sheriff’s office said. The occupants also matched the description of the suspects, authorities said. All three suspects were interviewed and subsequently arrest warrants were issued, authorities said. Officials with Highlands County, Sebring and Avon Park said the arrests were due in large part to the good working relationship among the agencies. “Investigators from each agency spent many hours working very hard for the businesses throughout Highlands County,” Lake Placid Police Chief James Fansler said in the news release. “The hard work resulted in giving some closure to business owners who face the financial burden of replacing the glass in their businesses.” Sebring Police Cmdr. Steve Carr said the collaboration and “good old fashioned police work,” and dedication “drew this situation to a quick conclusion.”