MILFORD – Seven teens are facing charges for their alleged involvement in stealing items from a rail car in Milford, and six of them are charged with setting fire to another rail car the following day, according to the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office.
On Oct. 3, a fire broke out in an antique box car on the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad, located at 146 E. Main St. in Milford, which was owned by the Leatherstocking Railroad Historical Society.
On Dec. 11, the Sheriff's Office announced that following a two-month-long investigation, two teens were arrested and charged in connection to the fire. Deputies said at that time that more arrests were expected.
Three 14-year-old males, two 15-year-old males, one 15-year-old female and one 16-year-old male have been charged in total.
Deputies say two of the teens and the 16-year-old male allegedly went into a rail car the day before the fire and caused damage to it, and stole items from inside the rail car, including flares.
Deputies say that the next day, on Oct. 3, the 16-year-old and one of the teens who had been there the day before returned with the three other male teens and the 15-year-old female. Deputies say they allegedly intentionally caused damage to the same rail car and stole items from it that included gloves, caution tape, safety vests, a radio holster, flares, Christmas lights and tools, which were recovered during the investigation.
After causing damage to that rail car, deputies say the teens accidentally caused a different rail car to catch fire with lit flares.
Deputies say the teen who was only there the first day was given a juvenile delinquent appearance ticket for criminal trespass and fourth-degree criminal mischief for intentionally damaging property worth less than $250.
The remaining six teens were each charged with third-degree criminal mischief, fourth-degree criminal mischief (reckless damage of property) and criminal trespass. Four of the teens, including the 16-year-old, were also charged with petit larceny.
Deputies say that the teens under 16 years old were issued appearance tickets for Otsego County Probation with their parents, and the 16-year-old was issued an appearance ticket for Milford Town Court.