I'm not saying that 'corporal punishment' is the way forward - but I think the trouble with some kids today is that they never come up against the point where it's clear to them that they can go no further.
When we were kids we knew that for everything we did wrong (and were found out) there was a cost involved. (which is exactly how life is for us adults) You weighed up if the cost was worth it and the made your decision. My Parents were consistent and fair - but we never got let off with the 'Oh he's just being creative' line, or 'she's going through a difficult time'. I once broke a window and my dad made me pay for the replacement glass (and I had to go with him to the merchant's to fetch it), and pay for his time to re-glaze the window. From that I learned to be more careful with the football in future, and never broke another one. Even accidents had to be put right. We knew how to behave, had respect for our parents and our home, and took turns in doing household chores as soon as we were old enough to contribute. Dan has been brought up with those principles and most people who know her would tell you what a nice girl she is. (blow, blow, blow that trumpet... Trace!)
If I was the neighbour I think I would be tempted to hit the boy full in the face with a piece of piping so he knew how it felt. You can bet he'd think twice before he did that again!!!