Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, March 19, 2010

UPDATE: Suspects Found; Arson-Vandalism at old armory - Officers ask public's help

03-19-10 UPDATE: Suspects Found; Arson-Vandalism at old armory - Officers ask public's help

    Boise, March 19, 2010 - Thanks to a citizens tip to Crime Stoppers, Boise Police Property crimes detectives have located three teenage boys believed responsible for the vandalism and arson done last weekend that damaged emergency response equipment belonging to the Boise Fire Department.

    "We very much appreciate the public's help on this case. No one wants to find their property has been damaged by vandals, but when it's emergency rescue equipment, that's especially significant since it impacts public safety," said Det. Craig Nixon of the Boise Police Property Crimes Unit. "The citizen tip, matched with evidence we gathered at the scene certainly helped us find who did this."

   "It's cooperation from citizens combined with good police work that really makes an impact on keeping our neighborhoods safe," said Sgt. Randy Buzzini of the Boise PD Property Crimes Unit. "We can't stress how valuable citizen tips like this are, and we thank Crime Stoppers for being there to help both police and citizens communicate."

    Officers say the three suspects are all age 14 and live in the area of the old armory where the crime occurred. The investigation is continuing, but officers say they will charge the teens with felony burglary, felony arson and felony malicious injury to property. In addition, the boy's parents could be held responsible for repaying money spent to repair the items damaged.

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Original Release:

    Boise, March 15, 2010 - Boise Police are asking the public's help in finding those responsible for an estimated $5,000 in damage to emergency vehicles and equipment belonging to the Boise Fire Department. The same suspects are believed responsible for setting fire to items stored inside the old armory.

    "Like in any vandalism, somebody's going to have to pay to repair and restore the items damaged. In this case, it's the City of Boise taxpayers," said Sgt. Randy Buzzini of the Boise Police Property Crimes Unit. "This destruction is senseless along with expensive. We're going to do all we can to find those who did it and hold them accountable."
 

    Likely happened Sunday afternoon: Boise Police investigators believe the damage was done Sunday afternoon, March 14th inside the old armory building on the 700 blk of Reserve Street. The armory building has been vacant for some time and is used for training and storage for city equipment.

    Smoke coming from the armory: The damage was discovered at approx 6:00 p.m. Sunday when two passersby noticed smoke coming from inside the armory. The witnesses quickly alerted firefighters just next door at Boise Fire Station #1. When fire crews responded they found two small fires inside the building which were quickly extinguished.

    Fire equipment damaged: However, firefighters also saw other damage to fire equipment stored inside the armory. Damage includes a broken windshield and winch on a truck used to pull a fire department dive rescue boat, one of the pontoons on the dive rescue boat had been deflated, and the back of the truck storage area had been opened and ransacked. Gas cans had been taken from the vehicles and believed used to start two small fires inside the building. The vandals burned desks and other items also stored inside the armory. Investigating officers found no signs of forced entry into the armory. How the vandals got into the building is still under investigation.

    ***Firefighters say the dive rescue equipment that was damaged is reserve equipment and does not hamper in any way any emergency response that may involved the Boise Fire Dive Rescue Team.

     "We have a lot of investigating to do ourselves, to see what all has been damaged and what is missing," said Battalion Chief Tom Pawek of the Boise Fire Department. "We'll do our best to clean up and repair what we can. And while this is back up equipment, it is essential for public safety, so it will have to be replaced or repaired."
    

    Suspect Info: At this time, Boise Police investigators have evidence that two males may be responsible for the damage. The investigation is continuing, but at this time, no further suspect information is available for release.

    Crime Stoppers:If anyone has any information on who may be responsible for the vandalism, they're urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS, or log onto www.343cops.com, or text CRIMES or 274637, subject: Tip236.