Columbia police surveillance of a north Columbia construction site that had been hit by thieves ended with the arrests of one Columbia man and three juveniles Thursday morning.
Police arrested Steve Secundino, of Columbia, and three Columbia teens, ages 13, 14 and 16, said Columbia police Sgt. Eric White, supervisor of the department’s Community Youth Services Unit.
Secundino, 17, and two of the teens admitted to having stolen bricks from the site and then throwing them through car windows in the neighborhood, White said. The three implicated a fourth suspect, White added.
White said the four males, who police believe were acting on their own and not as part of a group, had stolen bricks from the site several times since May 16 and used them to break car windows in the area.
An off-duty Columbia police officer patrolling the area saw four people stealing bricks from the site at around 1:45 a.m. Thursday, White said. He said about 10 cars had been vandalized, including one Columbia police officer’s personal car.
Secundino was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor stealing. He was released from the Boone County Jail on $500 bond Thursday afternoon. The other teens were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor stealing, and one teen also was arrested on suspicion of use or possession of drug paraphernalia. The names of the three younger teens are being withheld because they are juveniles.
White said the Police Department provides surveillance to construction sites based on the frequency and severity of crimes at the sites. He said police hope more victims will come forward now that arrests have been made.
“We get reports throughout the year from various construction sites,” White said. “We would decide which ones get surveillance on a case-by-case basis.”