18-year-olds charged with vandalism in Austin

Published 10:51 am Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two 18-year-olds have been charged with slashing tires, breaking windows and stealing gasoline around Austin Feb. 10-12.

Scott David Dirksen and Kari Marie Wright, both of Austin, face felony charges after an Austin police officer reportedly pulled their vehicle over after they had stolen gas and slashed tires at Kuehn Motor Co.

According to court documents, on Feb. 12, officers were dispatched to Kuehn Motor Co., 1508 North Main St., and observed a dark-colored Ford pickup driving on Main Street and turning into Austin Packaging Co. parking lot.

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The driver, Dirksen, told the officer he was “picking up a friend from work.”

After running his driver’s information, the officer discovered his license was suspended because of unpaid fines. He also smelled alcohol in the vehicle; all three occupants — the third was 15 — were not old enough to drink.

Dirksen took a breath test, which revealed a 0.021 blood alcohol level.

Both Wright and the minor admitted damaging property and siphoning gas at Kuehn, records show. The minor said they needed gas to drive to Albert Lea, and also said Wright had been smashing windows with a hammer and slashing tires.

They also admitted slashing tires at AB Taxi and A-Town Tattoo, and cutting a hose to an air tank and Nicol’s on North Main Street and siphoning gas.

Wright said she broke a window of a car by the bus station, damaged three pop machines at the Ankeny’s No. 1 convenience store and slashed vehicles at other locations.

The damage at AB Taxi totaled more than $1,000. Two vans, a Dodge Ram truck and an unidentified vehicle at Kuehn sustained damage.

All three suspects admitted to also vandalizing the night before.

Dirksen is charged with felony first-degree damage to property, misdemeanor theft and driving after suspension. His next court date is Feb. 26.

Wright is charged with felony first-degree damage to property. Her next court date has not been scheduled.

Charges for the 15-year-old were not available.