Palestine police say they have identified two suspects in a rash of recent criminal mischief incidents during which more than three dozen windows were broken out of vehicles parked throughout the city.

On March 26 and 27, the "ball bearing bandits" allegedly used a slingshot and ball bearings purchased at a local department store to break or damage the windows of 38 vehicles, according to Palestine Police Det. Nick Webb.

The detective said the incidents occurred "from Park Avenue to Bassett Road," adding the total damage was approximately $11,000. Damage to individual vehicles ranged from $150 to $2,000, Webb stated.

On Friday afternoon, Joshua Stanley, 20, of Palestine turned himself in at the police department, according to Webb. He has been charged with criminal mischief between $1,500 and $20,000, the detective added.

Stanley's bond was set at $2,500 by Anderson County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace James Westley.

Today, the second suspect, Maurice Lemon III, 18, of Palestine also was expected to turn himself in and be charged with the same offense, according to Webb.

Criminal mischief between $1,500 and $20,000 is a state jail felony punishable by six months-to-two years in a state jail.

"With the help of Wal-Mart's loss prevention (department), we were able to identify the two suspects," Webb said. "They have both admitted to their participation in the offenses. They drove through the city of Palestine and committed the offenses."

Webb said he believes Stanley and Lemon acted together and no other persons participated in the crimes.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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