NEWS: Bill would make "vandal" synonymous with "felon"
March 20, 2013
WPRO Newsroom and the Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Vandals who do more than $1,500 worth of damage to a property would be guilty of a felony under legislation pending in Rhode Island's General Assembly.
The bill announced this week was prompted by an incident two years ago at a Newport cemetery, where vandals caused more than $100,000 worth of damage when they knocked over 300 grave markers.
Under the proposal from Democratic Sen. Frank Lombardi of Cranston, vandals convicted of doing serious damage to a property would face a fine of up to $3,000 and as much as three years of jail.
Currently, vandalism is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Following the vandalism in Newport lawmakers passed tougher penalties for grave desecration.