3 teens accused of causing $771,000 worth of damage at several Lake County construction sites

Detective caught the suspects in the act

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – Deputies announced they have arrested a trio accused of damaging construction sites in Lake County.

The sheriff’s office said they started getting an increase in vandalism complaints on Nov. 5 at partially built homes and construction sites in the area of Ridge View and Serenoa Lakes neighborhood in Clermont.

Lt. Fred Jones with Lake County Sheriff’s Office said the group left behind a trail of destruction.

[TRENDING: Florida leaders react to omicron variant | Guy Fieri’s new restaurant may open in Winter Park Thursday | Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

“They did a lot of damage within about a minute of time,” Jones said.

Photos of the vandalism show busted-out windows, cinder blocks smashed out of walls and heavy machinery submerged in a pond.

“I would say multiple scenes, so multiple houses were damaged, in one neighborhood under construction I want to say there were about 10 houses that were damaged,” he said.

The criminal investigation bureau took over the case and started patrolling the area when they got a break.

“It just so happened the detective was there about five hours when he saw a car pull up and everything unfolded there when they kicked in the door of another residence,” Jones said.

Detectives moved in and arrested three suspects, Alyssa Munoz,19, Luis Diaz Jr,18, and Patrick Goncalves, 18, for burglary of an unoccupied structure, felony criminal mischief, trespass on posted construction site, and multiple other charges.

The investigation into the vandalism revealed the trio was linked to property damage at construction sites in neighboring counties.

“They may be tied to crimes Osceola, Polk and Orange counties as well,” Jones said.

The sheriff’s office said two of the three suspects confessed to the crime but offered no explanation for the trail of damage they caused $771,000 worth of damage.

“I wish I could tell you it was something deep but it was just a matter of them being bored,” Jones said.

The three are being held on bond. Bond for Munoz was set at $11,000, Goncalves’ bond was set at $70,000 and the bond for Diaz Jr. was set at $80,000.