Suspect Identified in Second Case, Another Suspect Sought
SIDNEY – On December 29, 2023, Cheyenne County Attorney Paul Schaub and Cheyenne County Chief Deputy Attorney Amber Horn said complaints were filed against a group of youths in connection to a series of vandalism and property damage incidents that occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday period. The complaint was filed against the youths, all males, who range in age from 11 to 14 years old.
A private business was broken into and vandalized, Legion Park was vandalized and damaged, a vehicle was stolen from a local business and damaged so severely it was deemed a total loss, and the City of Sidney Power Plant was broken into during the spree.
Because of the age of the suspects, their identities have not been released. The complaints list the following charges:
Suspect 1 - Criminal Mischief, Damaging Property of Power Supplier, two counts of Burglary, Theft, Criminal Mischief and Use of a Weapon.
Suspect 2 - Criminal Mischief, Damaging Property of Power Supplier, Burglary and Criminal Mischief.
Suspect 3 - Two counts of Criminal Mischief, Damaging Property of a Power Supplier and Burglary.
Suspect 4 - Three counts Criminal Mischief, Damaging Property of Power Supplier, two counts Burglary, Theft, and Use of a Weapon.
Suspect 5 - Criminal Mischief, Damaging Property of Power Supplier, three counts Burglary, two counts Theft and Use of a Weapon.
One of the youths is also facing an arson complaint.
The 11 year-old suspect was offered a Diversion program as he is too young to be charged with felonies. Children under 12 years old cannot be charged with felonies as per Nebraska State Statute.
The first court appearances in the case are expected in the first week of January.
A special prosecutor has been assigned to the case as Cheyenne County Chief Deputy Attorney Amber Horn is connected to one of the alleged victims. County Attorney Paul Schaub said the assignment of a special prosecutor is necessary because if one staff member at the office has a conflict, the entire office has a conflict. Kimball County Attorney Dave Wilson has been appointed as the special prosecutor.
A second case of vandalism occurred on or around December 23, when structures at Legion Park were "tagged" with graffiti, as well as the new location of Boss City Brewing on the 1200 block of Jackson Street in Sidney. Sidney Police have identified a suspect, a juvenile female, and are still searching for a second suspect in the December 23 incidents. Charges on the identified individual are pending, and law enforcement officials are working on leads to identify the second suspect.
Sidney Police Chief Joe Aikens said, "The Sidney Police Department would like to thank the residents of Sidney who have provided tips, video footage and other information to the department to help identify the suspects in these cases. The help of the citizens combined with the hard work and investigative techniques of our officers and law enforcement partners are how we are able to identify suspects, and to stop these types of incidents in our community."