Police seek vandals causing $30K in damage to high school - KCTV5

Police seek vandals causing $30K in damage to high school

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PLATTE CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Two vandals left behind a trail of expensive destruction at Platte County High School. So much so, in fact, that police asked district administrators to keep people away from the school Monday night forcing the girls' basketball teams to have their games to the nearby junior high.

The Platte County Sheriff's Department initially said the cost of the items stolen and damage left behind is expected to be in excess of $100,000, but has revised the number to $30,000.

"This is significant loss because the school is a significant part of the community. This is a big event for us," Lt. Al Devalkenaere said. "We are hoping the public might be able to identify the two by their walk, their gait or their mannerisms."

The high school was the target of theft and vandalism sometime between 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Monday, the district said.

Immediately upon notification, administrators contacted the Platte City Police Department to initiate a thorough investigation.

Surveillance video shows the two vandals wore hooded sweatshirts and masks. At times, they were seen carrying two backpacks plus two duffel bags with them through the building.

It is believed they broke a window on the building's roof and entered the school's computer lab. They used a hammer to force their way into the computer room. After taking items, the two then vandalized the computer lab, deputies said.

Among other things they vandalized was the school's phone system, three vending machines and administrative offices, including the assistant principal's office. There was also graffiti inside the building.

They looted and destroyed items throughout the building. Items were also stolen and the vending machines raided.

"It spread through an entire wing of the school," Devalkenaere said.

Since the investigation is ongoing, more specific information is not available for release at this time, the district said in a written statement.

The damage was so bad that the school moved a basketball game scheduled for Monday night. The school said they did this so that the crowds would not interfere with the investigation.

Authorities are working with the school to identify the two thieves who authorities believe are teens.

If you know anything about the crime, you are asked to call the Platte City Police Department at 816-858-5150.

"Our dedicated staff members are currently securing and cleaning Platte County High School to ensure there is no disruption to teaching and learning," the district said.

Police say they've wrapped up their investigation, and students and teachers can safely return to the school Tuesday.

The district issued the following statement:

Platte County High School was the target of theft and vandalism early this morning between the hours of 3:30 am and 5:30 am. Immediately upon notification, administration contacted the Platte City Police Department to initiate a thorough investigation. Since the investigation is ongoing, more specific information is not available for release at this time. The extent of the damage and loss is still being assessed. Our dedicated staff members are currently securing and cleaning Platte County High School to ensure there is no disruption to teaching and learning. Classes will resume as planned at all Platte County R-3 Schools on Tuesday, February 18.

KCTV5's DeAnn Smith contributed to this report.

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