Three Arlington Teens Charged With Shooting at Vehicles With BB Guns
Police: At least two other teens could have been involved in series of property crimes.
Three teenagers are responsible for shooting at least 250 vehicles across the region with BB guns over the past several months, the Arlington County Police Department announced Thursday.
Alexander Chase, 19, and Ricardo Reynoso Jr, 18, have been arrested and charged with felony destruction of property. William Romero, 18, has been arrested and charged with grand larceny and grand larceny with intent to distribute.
All three are from Arlington, and authorities say additional charges are pending against other suspects.
The shootings largely resulted in windows being shot out of vehicles — including two marked police cruisers — causing thousands of dollars in damage, though an exact estimate was not available Thursday. All of the vehicles were parked and unoccupied when they were shot, according to police.
"They haven't said why," said Margot Klepetko, an intern at the Arlington County Police Department. "My guess is they were just looking to get into trouble. We have no idea what their reasoning was behind it."
The shootings typically happened after dark but were not concentrated in any one part of the county.
"We didn't know in the beginning if it was an isolated incident. But once we started seeing a pattern, we began to pursue it," Klepetko said. "Our tactical and auto units started to do surveillance and look out for people in the nighttime hours. The problem with it not being (concentrated) at specific locations is that it was more difficult to pinpoint where to be looking."
Investigators do not believe the teens ever targeted specific individuals or that the public ever was in danger. No injuries have been reported relating to these incidents.
"There was no specific rhyme or reason or method that they followed through with this destruction of property," police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.
Police have reports of these incidents dating back to November.
Arlington investigators are still waiting to hear back from neighboring jurisdictions in Northern Virginia about similar cases. Fairfax County, for instance, has had a number of incidents, Klepetko said.
Police believe these shootings have occurred possibly as far away as West Virginia.
In one of the Arlington incidents, an expensive bicycle was stolen. That has since been recovered and returned to its owner, police said.
Police believe at least two other Arlington teens were involved in these crimes. Investigators aren't sure what their connection is.
The Fairfax County Police Department assisted in this investigation.
Chase and Romero are being held without bond. Reynoso is being held on a $1,000 bond.