Vandals choose poor targets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Early Tuesday morning, vandals in Demopolis decided to have a little fun. Only hours later, for one of the suspects, the fun was over.

Christopher Marcus Overstreet, 20, of Demopolis was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with four counts of criminal mischief and criminal tampering.

Detective Sgt. Tim Soronen said the department received calls early yesterday morning

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“We received calls between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. about a rash of vandalisms at New Era Cap Company, Parr’s Chevron and two residents on Maria Avenue and one police car,” Soronen said. “In all of the incidents except the police car, someone used spray paint to put graffiti on them. The largest one was on New Era, which was a 10 foot by 10 foot marking on the sides.”

Unfortunately for Overstreet and his partner, they didn’t cover their tracks very well. Soronen said witnesses were able to help them piece together the puzzle, which eventually led to an arrest.

“One of the people who lives off Maria saw the vehicle and was able to give us a partial tag number,” Soronen said. “Also, a witness at New Era was watching the parking lot and we were able to get a vehicle description as well.”

With a clear description of the vehicle and a partial tag number, Soronen said they narrowed the field and interviewed Overstreet in the French Creek area where he confessed to the crime. The second suspect has been located, Soronen said, and should be arrested soon. The suspect will face the same charges as Overstreet.

Yesterday’s vandalism’s were similar to incidents reported in mid-January when four juveniles were arrested for spray-painting the sides of streets, the sides of buildings downtown and the sides of school buses. They also vandalized Demopolis Middle School.

Demopolis Public Safety Director Jeff Manuel said the crimes had few similarities side from showing a rising trend.

“The two aren’t related,” Manuel said. “But it seems like vandalism is increasing.”

The department encourages anyone with information about crimes to use the tip line at 289-1475. The number is not monitored and all calls are anonymous.

Eldridge arrested on trafficking

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, a traffic stop of a subject in Demopolis netted more than a moving violation.

During the traffic stop, Michael Anthony Eldridge, 28, of Demopolis was arrested for trafficking cocaine and possession of marijuana, first degree.

Eldridge was taken into custody when officers discovered he had over two ounces of crack cocaine, eight ounces of marijuana and a large amount of crack. He was taken to the Marengo County detention center where he is currently being held on $30,000 bond.