Video leads to 3 arrests in massive vandalism spree
Apr 04,2008 00:00 by Cheryl McDermott

BEND, Ore.Excellent detective work and the cooperation of several businesses and concerned citizens led to the arrest of three people in connection with a rash of criminal mischief late last month described as one of the largest vandalism sprees in Bend’s history. Nearly 75 victims’ homes, businesses or vehicles were damaged by ball-bearings shot from a sling-shot.

 
Isaiah C. Harris (left), and  Christopher D. Hartzell (right) - DCJ photos. Not pictured is 17-year-old suspect Michael L. Brooke.

The reports of damage -- primarily broken windows -- began arriving on March 26, Bend Police Lt. Ken Stenkamp said. A partial list of victims provided in an earlier news release included Deschutes Brewery, Dry Cleaning Station, Umpqua Bank (NW Crossing), Impression Art Gallery, Chevron on Newport, The Knitting Place, Strictly Organic Coffee, Trinity Episcopal Church and Marshall School.

Stenkamp, without identifying which business participated, said several of the businesses had exterior video cameras that captured a white Ford pickup in the area near the time of the criminal mischief.

Police established an information-sharing network with local store loss prevention officers – people who deal with thefts and other issues, the lieutenant said. After sharing the vehicle description and type of projectile used to the network, it wasn’t long before Redmond Wal-Mart employees told police that several people had purchased ball-bearings around the time the vandalism was occurring.

Wal-Mart video surveillance showed three suspects buying the projectiles and leaving in a white Ford pickup, Stenkamp said.

The suspects were identified as Isaiah C. Harris, 18, Christopher D. Hartzell, 24, and 17-year-old Michael L. Brooke, all of Bend. They were arrested on Thursday, April 3, the lieutenant said, and a sling-shot and numerous ball-bearings were recovered.

Harris and Hartzell were lodged in the Deschutes County Jail, and Brooke was lodged in the Deschutes County Juvenile Facility.  All three face multiple counts of first-degree criminal mischief, however additional charges are anticipated and the investigation is continuing.

Lt. Stenkamp credited cooperation of the loss prevention officers, businesses, concerned citizens, and officers and detectives of the Bend Police Department with the apprehension of the suspects.