CAPTURED: Juveniles charged with vandalizing popular Halloween display in Vidalia

Published 12:34 pm Thursday, September 21, 2023

VIDALIA, La.  – Three teenagers are facing felony criminal damage to property and theft charges after police say they destroyed a popular residential Halloween decoration display.

Homeowners at 1020 Alabama St. in Vidalia have for years created an extensive display of Halloween decorations, including inflatables and staged vignettes with thousands of dollars worth of decorations.

On Wednesday morning, the homeowner awoke to find the display had been vandalized.

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“It was just all sorts of vandalism,” said Vidalia Police Chief Joey Merrill. “The suspects stopped their car and got out. They broken (the displays); it looks like (the suspects) took something and broke them and took parts off a few of them and took the parts with them.”

Vidalia Patrol Officers and Criminal Investigators began investigating the matter and collecting evidence from the scene and the area around the scene. Through a combination of security camera video and social media postings, investigators were able to identify the suspects.
“At approximately 7 p.m. Wednesday night the suspects were brought to the police department by their guardians where they were charged with felony criminal damage to property and theft,” Merrill said.
The suspects’ names are not being released due to their juvenile status. They include a 16-year-old male, a 15-year-old male and a 14-year-old female.
“Juveniles were released back into the custody of their guardians pending a court hearing,” Merrill said. “We take matters like this seriously here in Vidalia, and we hope to discourage any type of vandalism in the future.”