SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Two teens are behind bars and face felony charges after investigators said they vandalized a Spokane Valley home so severely that early estimates put the damage at $100,000.
Spokane County Sheriff's deputies said the teens, ages 17 and 16, broke into the home, located on the 10500 block of E. 9th Street in Spokane Valley, around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. They arrested the teens within a matter of hours and they now face charges of malicious mischief and residential burglary. Per policy, KHQ is not identifying the teens since they are minors.
"In the 16 years that I've been a sheriff's deputy, I've never any act of vandalism this severe," Deputy Craig Chamberlin said, Spokesperson for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.
To make matters worse, the homeowners are in the process of trying to sell the home. It's only been on the market for about three months. The damage, estimated at up to $100,000, is roughly two-thirds of the asking price for the home, which as of Tuesday afternoon, was listed for sale at $159,000. KHQ has learned from the realtor that the house has since been taken off of the market.
Chamberlin said the homeowner was actually the first to realize the damage Tuesday morning. The homeowner checked in on the home on his way out of town, found the damage and called 911. He was unavailable for comment Tuesday afternoon.
According to Shyan Day and Bailey Counts, friends of the teens, the vandalism occurred on a whim after a night of binge drinking. The group began partying Monday around midnight at the old University High building in what they considered their "last hurrah" before school started again on Tuesday.
"We had a crazy night of drinking over at the old U-Hi and we were coming back to my house to pass out," Day explained, who lives nearby.
After sharing a half gallon of vodka, Day said the group headed back to her neighborhood around 3 a.m. But when the group got close to Day's home, she said the two guys split off and walked over to the vacant house "to check some stuff out."
Day had a feeling the two were up to no good but she said she kept walking home.
"I was not going to be a part of that," Day continued. But she claimed "I had no idea it was going to be completely trashed like that."
Investigators said the pair proceeded to break into the home through a bottom floor window and - although the home was not furnished since it was up for sale - completely ransacked the structure of the home. They punched holes in the walls and ceilings, ripped apart appliances and framing, and they smashed windows. It appeared the kitchen took the brunt of the damage, with virtually every cupboard and cabinet torn apart. The stove and refrigerator were smashed in and toppled over. Deputies said they even tore off pieces of the home, like the stairway railings, to create make-shift battering rams with which they could poke holes in the ceilings and walls.
The final blow came when the pair turned on every faucet and plugged sinks and tubs, investigators said, flooding the home with water.
"Seriously, water was squirting everywhere from the top floor to the down floor," one neighbor said.
Another neighbor said, "Crazy how much damage they did. It's tragic for the family."
When the teens finally left, deputies said, they continued their trail of destruction down the block by slashing tires on at least half a dozen vehicles. They also left behind pieces from inside of the home.
"I thought it was a safe neighborhood but you never know, I believe everything happens for a reason but I hope justice is served and they're caught."
Deputies followed that trail back to a home where they were able to identify friends and witnesses about what happened. Investigators arrested the teens within a matter of hours.
Why did they do it?
"Both of these teenagers admitted doing the damage to this residence and they had absolutely no reason why," Deputy Chamberlin said. "They just thought it was something to do."
Authorities also expressed frustration and the response from the neighborhood. Several neighbors said they heard some of the commotion at the home early Tuesday morning - in fact, one neighbor saw the teens standing outside of the home when she was coming home from work - but no one ever called the police.
Deputies said, if someone had reported the suspicious activity, they likely could have caught the teens in the act.
Spokane County Sheriff's Department Press Release:
Today, September 4, 2012, at about 8:30 a.m., Spokane Valley Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a residence near the 10500 block of East 9th Avenue to a vandalism call. Deputies arrived on scene with the homeowner to find the entire residence completely destroyed.
A window had been broken out of the front of the residence, where it is believed access was gained by two juvenile males. Once inside, the males destroyed every appliance inside the residence, tore out sheet rock on nearly every wall, broke holes in the ceiling in both the upstairs and downstairs and flooded the entire home. The suspects turned water on in the kitchen sink and upstairs bathtub, plugged the drains and caused water to flood the residence for several hours. This was the worst case of vandalism every deputy on scene had seen in their entire careers.
Once Spokane Valley Property Crimes detectives arrived on scene, they were able to literally follow a trail of debris that led from the victim's house to a residence about a block away. The debris included items used during the vandalism that the suspects left on the roadway. It also included items that were taken from a vehicle near the victim's house.
After vandalizing the home, the suspects slashed tires on seven vehicles while walking back to the residence they came from. Spokane Valley Property Crimes detectives saw a cd case at the end of the trail of debris next to a rear sliding door of a residence near the victim's home. Detectives contacted the tenant at the residence who told them that a 16 and 17 year old male acquaintances of hers admitted that they caused the damage to the house and vehicles early in the morning.
Spokane Valley deputies and detectives quickly identified the two male suspects and had them in custody within an hour of the investigation. Both suspects admitted to vandalizing the house as well as slashing the tires on all seven vehicles. Damage to the residence is estimated at or near $100,000.00.
Both males were booked into Spokane County Juvenile Detention Facility for the charges of felony Malicious Mischief and Residential Burglary.
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating a property crimes case they described as "the worst they've ever seen."
According to investigators some teens broke into a home on the 10500 block of 9th avenue in Spokane Valley and destroyed everything inside, which deputies now estimate cost homeowners $100,000 in damages.
The home is vacant since the homeowners put the home up for sale. According to a neighbor, who was coming home from a graveyard shift on Monday night, she saw two young men standing outside of the home around 3:00 a.m. She heard a crash shortly after but then went to bed.
That sound, deputies said, was the teens breaking in to a window in the front of the home. They then ransacked everything inside including carpets, cabinets and kitchen appliances including tearing off one of the refrigerator doors. They also broke out every window in the back of the home.
Plus - what likely caused the most damage - the vandals turned on the water in all of the faucets in the house causing the home to flood. It wasn't until a neighbor woke up the next morning and saw the water spilling out of the second floor window that he ran over to the house and shut the water off.
In addition to the damage inside of the home, the suspects slashed dozens of tires to cars sitting nearby.
This is a developing story. Stay with KHQ Local News for updates.
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