Berlin firefighters charged in vandalism spree

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Police in Berlin say four firefighters on a scavenger hunt left a trail of destruction in their wake.

The four, three brothers and a friend, are now facing charges and have been suspended for their roles in the vandalism spree in which road signs were stolen and spray-painted, pay phones damaged and windshield wiper blades removed from vehicles.

Howard Silk, 23, John Silk, 20, Shawn Silk, 20 and Matthew Squires, 23, are charged with larceny, unlawful mischief and reckless endangerment pending a Nov. 1 appearance in Vermont District Court.

The endangerment charge was filed because the four allegedly used a piece of fire department equipment similar to the "Jaws of Life,” a high-powered cutting machine used to rescue people from vehicles.

“It was a pretty vital tool that wasn’t available to the fire department that night,” said Police Officer Daniel Gowans.

The four said they engaged in the vandalism sometime last month because they were bored, Gowans said.

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