Bulloch County vandals face felony charges

Bulloch County vandals face felony charges

A few minutes of vandalism have two young people in trouble with the law after  damage to a Bulloch County holiday tradition.

The two suspects face felony charges in this case. Meanwhile, the victims still can't believe the crime happened in the first place.

Autumn Evans and Zachary Smith face charges of criminal damage to property. In December, someone destroyed several mannequins and an inflatable at TMT Farms annual Christmas lights display. Owners Roy and Deborah Thompson say they used social media to urge the two to come forward before they filed a report with the sheriff. The couple still find themselves asking why.

"Did they come out to the drive through to do some damage, or was it a spur of the moment thing?" asked Deborah Thompson.

The vandalism prompted one motorcycle club and other visitors to volunteer as security to make sure nothing else happened. The family uses their display to collect canned goods, toys, and donations to help needy families of the community. Despite the problems, they say they won't stop decorating because the cause has grown bigger than just the mile and a half of lights.

"It's not as important to us as it is to the people that receive the food, so they can have something to eat," said Roy Thompson.

He says they'll figure out any security changes before December.

The Thompsons say they hope prosecutors can find a punishment with some balance - tough enough to teach a lesson but not leave a mark on their records that ruins the suspect's lives.

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