Mahomet teens charged with vandalism to school buses, cars

Mahomet teens charged with vandalism to school buses, cars

URBANA — Two Mahomet-Seymour High School students have been criminally charged with damaging buses and driver’s education cars belonging to the school district.

Mahomet Police Chief Mike Metzler said his department received a tip that led to the arrests Thursday of Odus Phillips, 17, of the 700 block of Colony Grove, and Austin Gustafson, 17, of the 800 block of Cedar Ridge Court, Mahomet.

Metzler said he had received a tip that one of the pair bragged to someone else about allegedly slashing six tires on driver’s education cars at the high school on May 26 so he asked that teen to come in to the police department Thursday to talk about it.

But when the teen arrived, he told Metzler he believed he was there to talk about the vandalism to the buses and bus barn that happened earlier in May.

Metzler declined to identify which of the teens implicated himself in both crimes but said both gave him enough information to support the charges of felony criminal damage to property that were filed Friday.

Metzler said the school district reported that over the weekend of May 4 and 5, seven or eight tires had been slashed and that the buses and the transportation building on North Division Street had symbols spray-painted on them. The district estimated the cleaning and tire replacement cost at $4,800.

The cost to replace the six tires slashed on the driver’s education cars on May 26 was an additional approximately $500, he said.

Asked if they had a motive, Metzler said, “They don’t like school.”

Both were juniors at the time of the alleged vandalisms, Metzler said.

If convicted, the teens face penalties ranging from probation to one to three years in prison.

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