Police make arrest in Burgettstown Area High School vandalism case
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Smith Township police arrested one adult and two juveniles Monday night accused of vandalizing Burgettstown High School last week and causing $100,000 in damage.
Ronald Fay Boyer, 19, of Burgettstown and a former student at the school, is expected to be arraigned at midnight on two counts of burglary, criminal trespass, corrupting morals of a minor, theft and criminal mischief, according to Smith Officer Larry Bonazza.
He said the juveniles, ages 16 and 17, will likely be charged with similar offenses tomorrow. One is a current student and the other was previously enrolled.
Officer Bonazza said the suspects entered the school by breaking a cafeteria window around 12:30 a.m. on Thursday and returned about the same time on Friday morning. They used a ski mask, a red bandanna and a T-shirt to conceal their faces.
Surveillance recordings caught the suspects vandalizing about three quarters of the classrooms on the first floor of the school armed with a hatchet, a crowbar, and a small sledgehammer.
"They trashed computers and electronic equipment, busted up the classroom doors and windows, broke into a trophy case and stole rings collected over the years," Officer Bonazza said. "They really trashed the school."
School officials gave police the names of a handful of students that looked similar to the men in the surveillance video.
Smith police began interviewing the students today around 4:30 p.m. Within five minutes, the first suspect they brought in admitted to the crime and gave police the names of the other alleged vandals, Officer Bonazza said. A second minor also confessed.
Both of the minors were released to their parents for the night. Officer Bonazza said the district attorney will determine if they will be charged as juveniles or adults.
Mr. Boyer was apprehended around 6:30 p.m. at a house in Burgettstown and refused to speak with police. A second man, William Shriver, was arrested for hindering apprehensions when he lied to police about Mr. Boyer's whereabouts, Officer Bonazza said.
Police recovered most of the class rings and are working to determine if the men also stole money.
First Published July 2, 2012 10:35 pm