Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Public safety

Boys accused of $10,000 damage in school vandalism in Winter Haven

Three boys face serious charges after a weekend break-in at an elementary school in Winter Haven resulted in around $10,000 worth of damage and vandalism.

A teacher working in a Chain of Lakes Elementary School classroom told authorities she noticed the three boys, ages 12, 10 and 8, near portable classrooms around 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

When she heard a sound and started walking toward the area, she said, she saw two of the boys running away. One reportedly nearly ran into her and stopped because he knew she recognized him.

In three portable classrooms, police said, furniture and electronics were found overturned, books and papers strewn across the floor and paint sprayed across walls, whiteboards, televisions and furniture.

The other two boys were reportedly found in the area and had paint on their skin and clothing that matched that found at the scene.

The three boys' parents were called to the school, and police said all three were taken into custody by Winter Haven Police and taken to the Polk County Juvenile Assessment Center. The 8- and 10-year-old are reportedly students at the school.

The boys were charged with four counts of burglary and felony criminal mischief, authorities said in a news release.

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