Two teenagers arrested for water pipe vandalisms
Boca Raton, FL On Wednesday evening, December 1, detectives with the Boca Raton Police Services Department's Special Investigations Unit arrested two teenagers in connection with the numerous water pipe vandalisms that occurred last weekend.
The vandalisms, a total of 29, occurred in an area from NW 4th Avenue to Federal Highway and from about the 2600 block of NW 2nd Avenue south to Palmetto Park Road. When officers became aware of the vandalism trend, they increased patrols in the area and spoke with a number of juveniles who were found in the area. Officers documented these interactions. On Monday, detectives reviewed these reports and narrowed down their list of potential suspects.
On Tuesday morning, detectives spoke with Lance Dankel, a juvenile who officers contacted twice over the weekend. Dankel told officer that although he and two other juveniles live in the area and were walking around the crime scenes all weekend, they saw nothing unusual, despite the fact that they would have walked past several of the broken water pipes, gushing water. Detectives then spoke with a juvenile who was with Dankel over the weekend. This juvenile, who spoke to detectives with his mother present, gave detectives an extremely detailed account of all the vandalisms. He told detectives Dankel and another juvenile, named Theodore Vanderlaag, committed the crimes and provided details, which included locations, business names, and the method they used to damage the water pipes. He also provided several locations that were as yet unreported. Detectives confirmed the details he provided with the evidence found at the scene of the crimes.
Detectives spoke with another juvenile that was also present during the crimes, and confirmed that Dankel and Vanderlaag committed the vandalisms. Although this witness was present, he did not participate in the crimes.
On Wednesday detectives arrested and charged Vanderlaag and Dankel with 33 counts each of vandalism. The aggregate amount of the damage sustained to property of the City of Boca Raton and various businesses is estimated to be more than $15,000.