Principal: Suspected students to be held accountable for graffiti and damage
Reporter’s note: This story has been edited to include more damage costs from the Roswell Police Department’s incident report.
Two students are suspected of vandalizing facilities and leaving graffiti at Roswell High School, while leaving behind a trail of broken glass and candy.
RHS Principal Manuel Warner informed the Daily Record that a custodial staff member was the first to find the graffiti, an alert was sent to the principals around 1:30-2 a.m. from the school’s security company, and then the Roswell Police Department responded on Tuesday morning before school.
All of the graffiti was cleaned up by the custodial staff before students arrived on Tuesday. Warner said the school has “a history of graffiti” and custodians were prepared for it.
From the security video, Warner said the two vandals wore hoodies and masks to hide their identity and their actions were “definitely premeditated.”
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“We have great footage of who it was — who we believe it was,” Warner said. “Our investigation is ongoing and … we’re definitely going to prosecute those students to the fullest, highest ability that we can.”
Once the students are identified, Warner said there are a few options for punishment and his belief is that they will turn themselves in, or be identified by someone else.
According to the RPD report, the three crime incidents were burglary forced entry, graffiti and criminal damage. The report stated that a blunt object, such as a hammer or a club, was used to break windows.
Comment threads on Facebook showed photos, and one video, of black or gold spray-painted offensive images, names and other profane and obscene phrases on various buildings around the school.
An athletic field house, the baseball dugout, band trailer and a few portables were graffitied, Warner said, but the agriculture or “AG building” was the only one broken into.
“Our belief is that they were some AG students,” he said. “The only thing that really was missing was the candy. They broke in and they got so far the alarm went off — and we believe that the alarm scared them away because they dropped candy on their way out the door. So candy, chocolate was kind of scattered.”
He said the damage included the broken window they used to enter, a laptop, a trophy shelf’s glass that was shattered and a Promethean board — a digital blackboard — was damaged, but is working now.
The cost of this incident was listed on the police report as $2,000 for the spray-painted areas, $2,000 for door windows damage, $5,000 for the Promethean board, $1,500 for the Dell laptop, $500 for window panes, $300 for the display case, $200 for a microwave and the stolen candy was valued at $10.
“Make good choices,” Warner relayed what he would say to those students, who have yet to be identified. “That wasn’t a good choice and so as teachers, as educators, we’re here to make sure that our students get a great education, so to break in and damage buildings wasn’t necessary. … We just want to make sure that this never happens again.
“When we do find these students, they are going to be held accountable and the police are looking for them.”
Special projects reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.