- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) - Faribault police say they’ve identified three teenagers suspected of illegally cutting down trees in the city - including a tree planted in memory of a student who died in 2009.

Police said Monday the trees were cut down at Faribault High School and the Faribault Soccer Complex. The suspects include two 19-year-olds and one 18-year-old.

One of those trees was planted in memory of Faribault student Nicholas Paulson who died in 2009 at age 16. A remembrance plaque was placed at the bottom of the red maple.

Police Chief Andy Bohlen calls it a “senseless act of vandalism” and says there’s no indication they were targeting Paulson.

Police say they’ll present the case to the Rice County attorney’s office for charges likely to include felony-level first-degree criminal damage to property.

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