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Canyon Country school vandalized; loss more than $10,000

Posted: July 28, 2014 4:53 p.m.
Updated: July 28, 2014 4:53 p.m.

Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s detectives are looking for at least three youths who broke into and trashed a Canyon Country school last week, causing more than $10,000 in loss due to damage and stolen property.

Thieves broke into Pinetree Community School on Lotusgarden Drive some time between 3:30 p.m. July 21 and 6 a.m. July 22, then strolled around campus breaking down doors and throwing things around, a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s deputy wrote in his report.

On video surveillance footage examined by deputies, at least three juveniles were seen jumping a wall onto campus property at the time the school break-in occurred.

“I’m very confident the sheriff’s detectives will ultimately resolve this,” said Lynn David, assistant superintendent of business services for the Sulphur Springs School District, which includes Pinetree Community School.

Detective Dan Finn of the sheriff’s COBRA unit, which targets youth crimes, is expected to meet the school’s principal Tuesday, David said.

“The ones (thieves) are hurting most are the children,” she said.

A 50-year-old school employee who phoned the Sheriff’s Station to report the crime told deputies the thieves broke down six metal exterior doors and one wooden interior door, then stole a set of master keys for the school, deputies reported. The set of master keys included 10 to 15 keys that open doors on campus.

The cost to replace the doors is $7,500, David said, adding school officials are conducting an inventory of resources kept at the school.

Also taken, David said, were at least six iPads which, at a base retail value of about $400, amounts to an additional estimated $2,400 in losses.

Total cost to the district for repairing the damage and replacing the stolen items amounts to more than $10,000.

The school employee who reported the crime gave deputies two DVDs containing video surveillance footage of the break-in, the responding deputy wrote in his report.

“The informant said the doors had been pried open and multiple offices had been ransacked and damaged,” he wrote. “The informant stated they have an ongoing issue with transients drinking at the rear of the campus and skateboarders graffiti (vandalizing) several walls on campus.”

“We saw doors that had been pried open and door frames that were bent and cracked and offices that had been ransacked,” he said.

Video surveillance cameras captured images of “several male juveniles walking around campus,” the deputy wrote.

“We viewed the footage and saw one male juvenile with a backpack and crowbar jump over the wall onto campus,” he wrote. “Two more juveniles jumped onto the wall and out of view. There are also two more male juveniles seen on the footage that do not jump the wall.”

Ten days prior to the break-in, vandals defaced exterior walls of the school, David said.

“The only good thing about this is that the children didn’t have to see it,” she said. School resumes for the Sulphur Springs School District on Aug. 14.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




ohhyaa: Posted: July 29, 2014 10:14 a.m.

Glad to read the school had surveillance cameras. Not like Castaic Middle School that was vandalized every few weeks for months and they did just about nothing. I'm sure detectives will catch these juveniles. They most likely live in the neighborhood. Parents, get your wallets open. You're going to need to pay up.

missyJk: Posted: July 29, 2014 11:42 a.m.

no worries put another bond issue on the ballot so we can all pay

Lotus8: Posted: July 29, 2014 2:17 p.m.

So the thieves stole a master set of keys for the entire campus. Wouldn't it also be prudent to replace the locks on all the doors now? How much will that cost?

sixsixonestyle: Posted: July 31, 2014 1:43 a.m.

If the SCV sheriffs would spend more time working then eating donuts they would be on top of this day time crime. SMH!! Grrrr

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