"Last night, they tackled one in the White Drive area," Police Chief Chuck Forbis said Thursday in City Hall where councilmen were interviewing prospective city managers.
There's no public record of the rampage, nor were the young men and boys arrested or even named in petitions that could have asked the juvenile court judge to declare them delinquent.
Police called the boys' parents, and at least one boy made restitution to a complainant, Forbis said. Restitution came in the form of a new snowman.
The subject came up during one of the city manager interviews when an applicant asked those present what they thought were the city's concerns. Unemployment and the harsh economy were repeatedly mentioned by councilmen. The police chief said with a low crime rate, police are interested in maintaining a quality of life for residents.
Since deep snow accumulated early last week, area residents have been playing in the snow, and many built snowmen, but by the middle of the week, it became known that snowmen were targets of teens who were out of school all of last week.
"One resident heard a noise," said Forbis, explaining how police got a break in the case.
It was about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. One of the boys "Tried to tackle" a snowman in the resident's yard, Forbis said. In so doing, his hat fell off, but he ran to the car. Not having been there, Forbis was short on exact details, but it would appear that the resident could have turned on a light and peeked through the window.
The boy went back to get his hat, Forbis said. The resident got a description of the car and dialed 9-1-1.
When patrol officers saw a car matching the description, it was stopped and with a few clever questions, police had incriminating statements from their suspects, and then everything fell into place.
"They admitted to the actions," Forbis said. "They estimated they'd done something to about 20 snowmen."
A couple of the teens are older than 18, Forbis said.