Teen Arrested in Carson Valley Vandalism Case

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UPDATE, 6/4/2014: The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says a teenager has confessed to the vandalism spree and has been charged. He is back in the custody of his parents as the investigation continues. His name hasn't been released.


MINDEN, NV - Jennifer Kirkland woke to an unpleasant surprise Sunday morning. Someone hours before had splashed paint on her SUV as it sat in her driveway in a rural Carson Valley neighborhood.

"I was shocked and surprised." she says. "I feel violated."

For good measure the vandals had added nails to the mixture of paint, nicking her car a little more, adding a driveway hazard for her tires.

"They had just flung it from the top all the way down to the bottom of the car."

Several doors down the street, a friend driving by saw what had happened to Bill Muerle's two Mustangs, and stopped to alert him.

"His wife and him didn't say nothing. They just pointed at the car. My jaw dropped. I thought, I can't believe this."

The two cars, including a late model Shelby GT, were covered in paint.

Both soon learned they had company. Vehicles at eight houses in the Stephanie Way neighborhood had been hit, apparently at random.

A mixture of house paint, some latex, some oil-based. Some accompanied by nails, some broken glass.

None of it is coming off easy. After a day of trying, a lot of damage remains.

These are not just annoying acts of vandalism. There's a price to be paid here and it's not going to be cheap.

Jennifer Kirkland already has an estimate of $3 thousand dollars. Early indications from Bill Muerle's insurance carriers are he's going to have to bear the cost himself.

"I can't have this car like this," he says looking at his Shelby. "I'm kind of thinking it's going to be $5 to $7,000 to do a repaint on it."

The Douglas County Sheriff's office is investigating, but there's no apparent motive or reasons these people were targeted.

It's a quiet rural neighborhood which has rarely seen problems like this.

Who did it is unknown to investigators, but they and victims can't help but note school is out and the possibility someone decided to celebrate a step toward adulthood with a senseless act of juvenile destruction.

Muerle sees a different element moving into the area.

"I'm really concerned it's going to get worse. And I can almost bet money on it that it is."

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is hoping someone may have witnessed someone in the area late Saturday or early Sunday morning.

Anyone with information is asked to call dispatch at 775 782-5126 or Investigator J. Preston at 775-782-9909.

Douglas County Secret Witness is offering a reward for information leading to arrest and conviction. The number is 78-CRIME (782-7463).