School Burglaries are a Serious Crime - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/01/07 - Lufkin

School Burglaries are a Serious Crime

by Ramonica R. Jones

School is out for the summer and most East Texas campuses are kid-free for a few more weeks, but Lufkin police believe it's children who are breaking into area schools after hours to vandalize the property. Herty Primary School has been the target of criminal mischief three times over the past week.

Principal Kathy Jost said, "They've actually broken the windows. We also had a day that they actually took the caulking off the windows and entered, and took some paint and threw it all over one of the classrooms and on the walls and on the TV and the computer."

So far this summer, three Lufkin schools have been hit by vandals and police said whoever the criminals are they face serious charges.

Lt. David Young said, "I think in this case it undoubtedly points to probably neighborhood children who are doing this. I think they have too much time on their hands and they're allowed out at night unsupervised. They've taken nothing, they've really not caused a lot of damage, but it's just a matter of time."

Breaking windows alone is criminal mischief, but illegally entering the building is burglary - a felony. So far, it'll cost Herty Primary more than $300 to fix the broken windows. School officials will also have to replace several items still covered in paint.

The vandals have hit Herty Primary, as well as Brookhollow and Coston elementary schools. If the suspects turn out to be kids, the school district can file civil charges against their parents to recover the cost of the damages.

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