Three Arrested In Coal Mine Vandalism In Hartford

HARTFORD (KFSM) — Two juveniles and an adult teenager were arrested in connection with vandalism at a closed coal mine in Hartford.

Capt. Philip Pevehouse of the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office said a 16-year-old, a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old, all males, were arrested in connection with more than $5,000 in damage done to the mine and equipment there.

Christian Cates, 18, of Hartford was charged with two counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief, Pevehouse said. The 17-year-old was charged as a juvenile with felonies of unlawful burning and criminal mischief. The 16-year-old was charged as a juvenile with felonies of unlawful burning and criminal mischief.

Because the younger suspects were charged as juveniles, their names cannot be released, Pevehouse said.

A neighbor near a closed coal mine in Hartford captured this image on a game camera of two people walking near the mine. The Sebastian County Sheriff's Office released the photos March 21 and asked the public to help identify these two in connection with vandalism of the mine on March 15. (Courtesy of the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office)

According to investigators, a caretaker at the closed mine discovered damage to equipment at the mine on March 15, and he said a fire was set to an area near the mine entrance.

A neighbor reported seeing two young men around the property the day before, deputies said. The man had game cameras and was able to capture photos of the young men.

Pevehouse said tips from residents allowed investigators to identify the three men and find evidence resulting in their arrests.

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