Damages from Theft and Subsequent Property Destruction Total $118,500
Mathew Scott Wentz (left) and Christopher Bryan Clausen were arrested and charged in connection with the vandalism at Elm's Beach on March 18. A teenager was also arrested.
LEONARDTOWN, Md. (April 2, 2009)—Two men and a 17-year-old boy were arrested today in connection with the theft of an excavator and subsequent extensive damages to nearby Elm's Beach park in the early hours of March 18.
The teen was charged with theft over $500, two counts of malicious destruction of property over $500, and 4th degree burglary. He was transported to Cheltenham Youth Facility, Cheltenham, Md.
The other two suspects, Mathew Scott Wentz and Christopher Bryan Clausen were charged with the following: theft over $500, two counts of malicious destruction of property over $500, and 4th degree burglary. They were incarcerated at the St. Mary's County Detention Center pending a hearing with the District Court Commissioner.
The three allegedly stole an excavator, owned by Alva Watson Jr., from Bay Forest Road in Lexington Park. A water truck belonging to Watson was also damaged. Watson estimated his financial loss at $55,000.
The victim and police subsequently discovered significant damage made to facilities at nearby Elm's Beach, a public park owned by the County. Reported damages included: destruction of portable restrooms, the metal gate at the entrance was torn from the ground, damages to playground equipment and various buildings.
County officials estimated the total damages to the park at $63,500.
Police found the excavator parked nearby.
The three suspects were identified by police investigation, information obtained from witnesses, and an anonymous tipster who named two of the suspects.