Newport, NH vandalism spree leads to four arrests, over $120K in damages

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NEWPORT — A series of vandalism attacks on school buses, vehicles, and property in Newport and surrounding areas has resulted in the arrest of four individuals, according to the Newport Police Department.

The initial incident, which occurred on the morning of Oct. 24, involved damage to six Newport School District buses parked at the Newport Department of Public Works, with repairs exceeding $100,000.

The buses had windows smashed and were defaced with graffiti.

Following this, on Oct. 31, multiple reports of graffiti on homes, fences, and vehicles surfaced.

The derogatory terms spray-painted were, in some cases, racially or ethnically motivated as per the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act.

The widespread nature of the crimes across Newport, Claremont, Croydon, and Springfield led local authorities to enlist the help of the New Hampshire State Police Troop C.

As the investigation expanded, more vandalism was discovered, including damage to over a dozen vehicles at McGee Mazda in Claremont on Nov. 17, with costs amounting to upwards of $20,000.

On Dec. 8, three additional school buses in Newport were targeted.

After a thorough investigation involving multiple agencies, arrest warrants were issued for Brandon Teeter, Samuel Bathrick, Devin Croteau, and Zachery Fuller.

Each faces five counts of Criminal Mischief and five counts of Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Mischief, with certain complaints being elevated to Class B felonies due to the significant financial loss.

Additionally, two complaints may result in extended imprisonment due to the crimes’ perceived racial or national origin motivations.

The suspects are currently held at the Sullivan County House of Corrections, with arraignment scheduled for Dec. 19 and 20.

The Newport Police Department has also consulted with the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Civil Rights Unit for potential civil enforcement action under the New Hampshire Civil Rights Act.

Assistance in the investigation was provided by multiple agencies, including the Claremont and Springfield Police Departments, the New Hampshire State Police, the Grafton County Sheriff’s Office Cyber Crimes Unit, and the Newport School District (SAU 43).

As the investigation continues, further arrests and charges are expected.

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