Parents Held Responsible For Damages Caused by Juveniles’ Felonies
MADERA – Two teenage boys were found guilty of felony vandalism and their parents ordered to pay $25,000 in restitution to a homeowner, according to Madera County District Attorney Michael R. Keitz.
The boys, ages 14 and 16, had one more young accomplice, but prosecution has not been completed in the third boy’s case, since he failed to show up in court, Keitz said. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
The teenagers’ “extensive acts of vandalism,” Keitz reported in a news release, began during the afternoon of Jan. 23, 2012, when the trio kicked in the garage door of a new house on the north side of Madera.“Once inside the living area, they proceeded to smear, splatter, and pour paint from cans stored in the garage throughout the house,” Keitz said. “When finished with their painting spree, and while smoking marijuana inside the house, the boys were found by a building contractor.”
The boys immediately fled the scene, but were picked up later by Madera police officers and booked into Juvenile Hall, charged with one count of felony vandalism each, Keitz reported.
The extensive damage inside the newly constructed house forced the owners to have carpets and wood floors replaced, as well as repairs done to the marble countertops, walls, kitchen appliances and cabinets – all of which were damaged by paint.
During the boys’ juvenile court hearings, Madera Superior Court Judge Thomas Bender found the felony allegations against the minors to be true. Bender granted Deputy District Attorney Christine Nijer’s request to order two of the minors and their parents or legal guardians to pay the maximum restitution under California law of $25,000, to the owner of the house.
The boys were ordered to be on probation until they reach age 21.
“I am pleased the court held the parents financially responsible to the fullest extent of the law, for the actions of their children,” Keitz stated. “Parents should be aware that crimes committed by their minor children may have serious financial consequences. Vandalism is a particularly senseless act, and it eventually affects many people in the form of higher insurance premiums.”