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Two students arrested in River Ridge armed burglary

NEW PORT RICHEY — It was nearly 2 a.m. on March 14 when the three masked thieves shattered the glass door to the middle school. The security camera footage showed one intruder carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon.

Inside, the trio rummaged through the offices of River Ridge Middle and High schools, the administration department and even the office of the Pasco County sheriff's deputy stationed there. They stole computers, cell phones, cameras, cash. They also took a collection of banned items confiscated from students: knives, brass knuckles, lighters and cigarettes.

Their take totaled more than $5,000.

On their way out, they broke ceiling tiles, a Tiffany lamp and air conditioning pipes — causing an estimated $1,100 in damage.

Two teen suspects were arrested Tuesday and authorities say a third arrest is expected today. The two in custody Wednesday are 11th graders at River Ridge and both live in New Port Richey.

The one accused of carrying the semiautomatic gun into the school is 17. The other will turn 18 on Monday.

The Times is withholding their names because of their ages.

The third suspect also is a student at River Ridge, authorities said.

The suspects told other students about the crime and showed them stolen items, official reports say.

The father of one teenager told detectives where to find some of the stolen property.

One teen admitted to taking part in the burglary, the reports said.

All of the stolen items have been recovered except three handheld radios, a Sheriff's Office jacket and a white, Apple laptop computer.

The teen accused of carrying the gun into the school is charged with armed burglary, wearing a mask while committing an offense, throwing a missile into a public building and trespassing on school property with a weapon.

The other teenager is charged with armed burglary, wearing a mask while committing an offense, criminal mischief and trespassing on school property with a weapon.

Both were held Wednesday at the Pasco County Juvenile Assessment Center.

Fast facts

Items stolen

• Master keys to the schools

• Two laptop computers

• Two digital cameras

• Three handheld radios

• One Sheriff's Office jacket

• Three cell phones

• One Nintendo DS player and game

• One Leatherman tool

• One Husky flashlight

• About 25 packs of cigarettes

• About 50 lighters

• Six knives

• Brass knuckles

• A gun-shaped lighter

• 10 marijuana test kits

• About 50 evidence bags

• Nearly $50 in cash

Two students arrested in River Ridge armed burglary 03/25/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 8:47pm]
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