Juveniles Charged With Shooting At Street Lights, Abandoned Home, Vehicles, Animals In Berlin

BERLIN — Two juveniles are facing reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property charges this week after being identified as the suspects in a series of air gun shootings at street lights, an abandoned residence, animals and possibly moving vehicles.

On Thursday, the Berlin Police Department initiated an investigation into several street lights that had been damaged by BBs on Maple Avenue. When electric company employees went to repair the damaged street lamps, numerous BBs were located in the housing of the lighting fixtures.

In addition, one residence in the area had suffered damage due to being shot numerous times with air guns, according to police. In addition to the property damage, the investigation revealed numerous wild and domestic animals had been shot in the same area. The investigation led police to a residence where two juvenile suspects were identified. During the investigation, five air rifles and one firearm classified as a long gun were seized.

The two juvenile suspects confessed to damaging the lights and the residence on Maple Avenue and to shooting several wild and domestic animals. The suspects were charged through the Department of Juvenile Justice with two counts of malicious destruction of property and two counts of reckless endangerment.

The investigation is ongoing and Berlin Police are attempting to determine a connection between the incidents for which the suspects have been charged and a handful of other incidents involving vehicles shot with projectiles from air guns beginning in August.

On Aug. 8, a commercial vehicle traveling north on Route 113 in the area of Branch Street was struck by what appeared to be a projectile fired from an air gun. The projectile shattered and penetrated the glass window of the vehicle, which was occupied and in motion at the time.

On Aug. 21, another vehicle traveling north on Flower Street near Showell Street was struck by a projectile fired from an air gun. The projectile struck the rear passenger door and caused substantial damage. Again, the vehicle was occupied and in motion at the time of the incident.

The Berlin Police Department is asking anyone who has discovered any damaged property or unusual occurrences during the month of August and through the first week of September to call 410-641-1333. The department is also reminding residents it is unlawful to discharge any firearm within town limits including BB guns and air guns.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.