Police suspect kids in school break-in, vandalism

By August 2, 2014Crime & Courts

Juneau Police Department is looking for a group of young suspects responsible for blowing up cans of body spray behind Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School at the end of July. The same kids are also suspected of breaking into the school and smashing a vending machine.

JPD and Capital City Fire/Rescue responded to the explosion on July 26 around 9 p.m. A black nylon “Trailmaker Equipment” bag with three cans of Axe body spray and one can of Old Spice spray was set on fire.

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A school janitor discovered the break-in a couple days later. A window in the back of the school had been pried open.

Juneau police Lt. Kris Sell says the suspects were caught on school surveillance cameras.

“The footage is good enough. Anybody who knows these kids would be able to tell us who they are,” Sell says.

Footage shows five or six kids, ranging in ages from 7 to 13, running around the school. Sell says the break-in likely happened before the explosion.

She hopes word of mouth about the incident will help lead them to the suspects.

“This is something that we think in a neighborhood where there’s a lot of multifamily housing, like the Switzer-Gruening Park area, this isn’t going to be a secret. The kids are going to tell other kids. And we hope that an adult will at some point hear what happened,” Sell says.

She doubts any charges will be made, but says it’s still important to intervene in this sort of incident.

“You know, these kids are headed down the wrong path and we should get some parental involvement and some school involvement and address this to some extent. It’s a matter of looking at what kids you want to make sure aren’t generating cases five, 10 and 15 years from now,” Sell says.

Damage to the school window is estimated at $1,000. Sell doesn’t know yet what it will cost to repair the vending machine.

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