PLYMOUTH, Mass. – Police have accused a teen of vandalizing Plymouth Rock and other local landmarks last week.
The 17-year-old local high school student will be charged with 11 felony counts of vandalism to property and one misdemeanor count of trespassing. Police are not releasing the boy’s name because he is a juvenile. He will face charges in Juvenile Court.
The charges stem from a Feb. 17 vandalism spree that targeted Plymouth Rock, Forefathers Monument and several other landmarks and attractions along the downtown Plymouth waterfront.
Plymouth Rock has been targeted occasionally over the years, sometimes by people with a political agenda. This year marks the 400th anniversary of the pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.
Police Chief Michael Botieri said detectives reviewed hours of videotape of the downtown area in building a case against the teen.
In addition to Plymouth Rock and Forefathers Monument, the boy is charged with damaging the Plymouth Maiden statue and a memorial bench in Brewster Gardens, a memorial stone and concrete slab at the entrance to the harbor jetty, the waterfront bandstand, a town map in Shirley Square and four Scallop Roll statues.
Most of the damage included the words and letters “508 MOF.” Botieri said the boy offered no explanation for what was written.
“He eventually cooperated, but never gave a good reason why he spray painted,” Botieri said.
He said there is not a stiffer charge for vandalizing historic landmarks. The charges are only heightened if war monuments or veterans memorials are targeted.
The vandalism charges carrying potential sentences of three years in jail and a $1,500 fine. The lesser, trespassing charge was added for going into the portico at Plymouth Rock.
“He said he jumped in and jumped out,” Botieri said.
It was not clear if any rewards will be issued for help in solving the case. An online reward campaign and a local candidate for office have pledged $2,880 for help in solving the case. Boitieri credited good detective work, noting that people are always being photographed in public places like downtown and the waterfront.
Botieri said police also received some anonymous tips.