Douglas County Deputy Chief Says Parents Could Be Held Responsible For Damage From Vandalism

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – An area in the southwest of the city saw a wave of vandalism last month and neighbors want it to stop.

Neighbors and law enforcement are concerned that many of these crimes are part of a TikTok challenge where videos of the crimes are posted online by those who committed them.

It started with breaking planters and tearing down fences. Vandals ransack Christmas lights and stab inflatable decorations. A letterbox even exploded with an explosive device.

Kaitlyn Xioues is one of the victims.

“It’s pointless. I wonder what you get by destroying other people’s property.

“We take these crimes seriously because they are the property of the people. “

Douglas County Deputy Chief Wayne Hudson said many of the crimes were captured by Ring cameras providing evidence to law enforcement.

“Everyone has these ring cameras right now. So they are more than likely going to get caught, their license plate will be caught or something on the rings camera, so if that happens give us a call and report if you have the ring video, we’ll take the video of the ring and we’re going to trace it and we’ll find it, ”said Hudson.

He says that once caught, those responsible will be held financially responsible for any damage they cause. If they are minors, this responsibility lies with the parents.

“Do you really want to be forced to pay restitution for something your child has done?” Sit down with your child. You need to explain to your child that what you see on those TikTok videos, those TikTok challenges, all of that is not the best thing to do. It can be fun to watch them, but for doing some of these things, they can get you criminally charged, or they can actually hurt you.

Hudson says these crimes could escalate because the vandals believe they got away with it. He says it’s important to report these crimes to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

In this part of town, one side of the block could be covered by Omaha police and the other by the Douglas County Sheriff.

“If this is my agency, we will pay special attention to this area, which will draw my cruisers to this community a little more often. “

If these are TikTok challenges, Kaitlyn Xioues says it’s not worth doing.

“If you watch this, I hope you stop doing it.” Stop entering and vandalizing other people’s property.

Hudson says neighbors can help protect themselves by running neighborhood watch programs and being alert to vehicles that belong and do not belong to your neighborhood. He says all crimes should be reported, regardless of their size.

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