3 teens to face charges after destroying construction yard with owner's machinery

3 teens face charges after destroying construction yard with owner's machinery
The owner estimates the equipment damage at nearly $9,000. However, the damage to the irreplaceable materials is nearly $50,000. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The owner estimates the equipment damage at nearly $9,000. However, the damage to the irreplaceable materials is nearly $50,000. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The shattered 330 Caterpillar windshield. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The shattered 330 Caterpillar windshield. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Clark Nickles (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Clark Nickles (Source: WAVE 3 News)

UTICA, IN (WAVE) - Three teenagers are facing charges after they vandalized construction equipment on private property.

A neighbor called police around 12:30 Saturday morning, after she heard heavy machinery ramming into buildings and storage trailers at Clark Nickles's Heavy Machinery, on Brown Forman Road.

The teens climbed into a 330 Caterpillar excavator, shattered the windshield, ripped the seat and tore out a switch, all while ramming it into a trailer storing thousands of dollars of lumber and metal, according to owner Clark Nickles.

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"I also have a D7 Caterpillar bulldozer that they rammed into other things, broke the exhaust pipe and broke the manifold," Nickles said.

The owner estimates the equipment damage at nearly $9,000. However, the damage to the irreplaceable materials is nearly $50,000.

"The trailers are all cut in two pieces," Nickles said. "A 45 foot trailer was rammed into a pile of dirt."

One trailer was storing several pieces of electrical equipment that was already sold to a third party.

Nickles doesn't expect to be reimbursed for anything because he doesn't have insurance.

"It is so expensive, the cost supersedes, you just have to go on," he said.

For more than 30 years, Nickles and his family have operated his recycling yard. Several of the vandalized pieces are sentimental as they were purchased by Nickles and his late father.

"It is devastating," he said. "It's kind of a personal thing with our equipment because we use it to make a living."

Now, Nickles is left to swallow the damage costs, as well as hire extra help to clean up his lot.

"Police told me the teens said they were bored," Nickles said.

The teenagers were caught by Utica Police while running back to a truck they had parked several yards away from the lot. Charges for all three teenagers are pending.

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