After review by a grand jury of numerous vandalism cases within the Houston city limits, local law enforcement authorities have brought numerous charges against a Houston teenager.
Erin L. Lancaster, 18, of 417 Mill St. in Houston, faces four felony and six misdemeanor property damage charges resulting from an early June crime spree in which he allegedly broke windows out of numerous vehicles and one airplane and destroyed decorative lights on posts at the entrance to a driveway. Lancaster is also accused of firing a gun at birds across from the Houston High School and Middle School complex, resulting in several school windows being broken.
Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell said Sgt. Tim Ceplina was instrumental in a lengthy investigation that led to Lancaster’s arrest.
“This represents a lot of good police work by Sgt. Ceplina and the department,” McNiell said. “Several officers put together bits and pieces; it was kind of slow, but the wheels of justice kept turning and over a period of time we were able to interview him and some other people and eventually got confessions.
“We’re pleased with the efforts, because that’s a lot of vandalism and a lot of people were victimized.”
McNiell said Lancaster has also been cited for a September incident in which he is accused of breaking the glass out of a parked vehicle. He was arrested at 7:43 p.m. Friday by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and is held at the Texas County Jail on $300,000 bond.
“Having an 18-year-old in jail from all this is really sad,” McNiell said. “But there’s just no tolerance for that in this community, and we want to make a strong statement that if you’re going to do something like that we’re going to do all we can to catch you and have you prosecuted.”