Tips from the community paid off Monday when Millington police arrested a man in connection with Saturday’s vandalism at Millington Community Schools.

The suspect, 19-year-old Devvon W. Severt of Flint, was taken into custody at about 5:30 p.m. in Arbela Township and arraigned Tuesday afternoon in Tuscola County Circuit Court. He is charged with two felonies – malicious destruction of between $1,000 and $20,000 of trees, shrubs, crops, grass, turf or soil and malicious destruction of personal property between $1,000 and $20,000.

Both counts carry a maximum possible penalty of five years in prison and either a $10,000 fine, or three times the amount of the damage.

Severt is accused of driving his pickup truck at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday onto the property of the Millington school district and damaging the district’s athletic fields.

“They hit every athletic field that we have,” said Millington Community Schools Superintendent Larry Kroswek said. “They did doughnuts, they tore it up, put deep ruts in it…”

The suspect vehicle was captured on surveillance video, and the Millington Police Department shared a photo of the pickup on the department’s Facebook page. Millington Police Chief Jason Oliver said tips from community members led the department to focus on a neighborhood in southern Arbela Township.

“We had some tips that the truck was seen in the Oak Grove subdivision off Willard Road, near Bray Road,” Oliver said. “I went there a couple of times on Monday and Tuesday but didn’t pan out.”

Tuesday afternoon, Oliver asked Officer Brian Cartner to check out the area.

“(Cartner) drove down Stanley Road and the suspect vehicle was leaving a driveway,” Oliver said. “(The suspect) didn’t live there, but he was visiting a friend and that’s why people had seen the vehicle in the area.

“We were in the right place at the right time.”

Oliver said Severt confirmed his suspicion that the vandalism suspect was alone in the vehicle when the fields were damaged.

Kroswek said he was sitting in his office early Monday morning when members of the school district’s maintenance team informed him of the damage. He told The Advertiser the athletic facilities will “absolutely” be ready for action once Millington students return from spring break next week.

The Millington softball team won a state championship in 2019. The 2020 Michigan High School Athletic Association spring sports season was canceled due to COVID-19.

“There were a lot of people angry about (the vandalism),” Oliver said. “So there was some pressure to find who was responsible because it’s big deal to this community. They’re very high on the sports programs.

Severt spent Monday night in the Tuscola County Jail and was arraigned Tuesday in front of magistrate Joseph Van Auken. Severt said he was employed in Saginaw, which Van Auken considered before deciding on Severt’s bond amount.

“You can’t drive a car or a vehicle of any sort for any reason whatsoever,” Van Auken said during the arraignment. “So how do you get to work? Gonna be a long walk. Luckily, it’s not going into winter though, so you’d be OK on a bike, a pedal bike though, not motorized. That’d be a long pedal bike ride, but you’d get in great shape.”

Van Auken decided Severt could be released on a $15,000 personal-recognizance bond, meaning it would cost no money to be released, but if Severt doesn’t show up for his next court appearances, he would have to pay Tuscola County $15,000.

Severt is scheduled for a probable cause hearing at 8:15 a.m. April 14.