Christmas Eve brought with it the gift of discovering who was responsible for the thefts and vandalization of Christmas yard decorations from several Cherokee Village homes, leading to citations being issued for three male juveniles and Skylar Johnson, 19, of Hardy and Justin L. Bryant, 19, of Cherokee Village for 2nd degree criminal mischief and theft of property.
According to the narrative report from the Cherokee Village Police Department, the crimes were reported to have occurred in the early morning hours of Dec. 21.
Cherokee Village Police Officer Monte Lane responded to a home on Cherokee Road where the owner reported to have heard a loud noise and observed someone running out of the yard. During the incident, three of her blow up yard decorations were stolen and two other yard decorations were damaged. Thirty minutes prior to the Cherokee Village incident, the Highland Police Department was called to a home with the same complaint. The description of a light colored SUV was given.
An anonymous tip was called into the Cherokee Village Police Department Dec. 29 regarding the identity of one of the persons involved, stating that they lived near Lakeview Dinette. Criminal Investigator Shane Hightower investigated the incident and after seeing a home with a vehicle that fit the description given by the Highland victim, spoke with the father of one of the possible perpetrators by phone, who later called back confirming his son's involvement. The father and son met with Hightower at the police department on Dec. 30.
During the interview the 17-year-old juvenile male admitted to stealing and vandalizing Christmas decorations in Cherokee Village. He also provided the names of the other four who were involved including two other 17-year old males as well as Johnson and Bryant. Prior to coming to the police department for the interview the juvenile and his father had already visited the victim on Cherokee Road and repaid and apologized to them for his part of the crime.
Johnson was interviewed after the juvenile and admitted the thefts also confirming the earlier report by the juvenile telling Hightower that the five were with him in his tan SUV on Dec. 21 when the crimes occurred.
All suspects were cited and released. Johnson and Bryant are to appear in District Court and the three juveniles are scheduled to appear in juvenile court.