by Susan O’Neill
SUGAR GROVEâ€”Sugar Grove police arrested former Sugar Grove resident Stephen Dale Matthews on Aug. 19 for criminal damage to property, after he reportedly damaged 29 vehicles in the Sugar Grove area on the morning of Aug. 6.
The majority of the damage was in the form of scratches from a stone or other sharp object to vehicles parked on Arbor Avenue, Calkins Drive, Bristol Court, Chelsea Avenue, Bedford Avenue, Cross Street and Rolling Oaks Drive. There was also a smashed mailbox.
Profanities and derogatory descriptions of individuals were scratched into the hoods, trunks and sides of the cars. Some of the scratches were fairly deep, and will require the replacement of the automobile panels. Damage done to the cars ranges from $400 to $3,100 per car, for a total of about $20,000.
Matthews, 18, currently lives in the 200 block of West North Street in Dwight, Ill., where police there are investigating similar damage done to vehicles. He was charged with criminal damage to property, a class 4 felony, for the vehicle with more than $3,000 in damage, and criminal damage to government-supported property, a class 3 felony, for damage done to a vehicle owned by Kane County and driven by Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez.
There was also one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property for the mailbox. Additional charges are pending as the department receives estimates from other victims whose cars were damaged. Citizens are encouraged to get an estimate for damages and file a police report with the Sugar Grove Police Department if they believe their cars may have been involved in this incident.
Matthews is currently out of jail on a $25,000 bond. His first court date is Friday, Aug. 28.