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2-19-14

School break-in
causes $50k loss
Two students arrested

by Stephanie Eaton
Landmark reporter

Two Platte County High School students are facing criminal charges after they allegedly broke into the high school on Monday and caused $50,000 worth of damages and loss to the school.

While the suspects allegedly stole or damaged computer equipment, including iPads and laptops, at the school, Platte County School officials said that no sensitive or secured data was compromised because of the break-in.

On Tuesday, officials with the Platte City Police Department announced that two 16-year-old boys, both students at Platte County R-3 High School, were taken into police custody in reference to the damage and burglary that occurred at the school the day before. The names of the suspects have not been released because they are considered juveniles by the court system.

According to a police report, on Monday morning at approximately 8 a.m. a Platte County High School basketball coach entered into the school through the front door and walked into the cafeteria. The coach noticed glass on the floor in front of several of the vending machines. After observing the vandalism in the cafeteria, the coach returned to the front of the school and noticed that in the lobby a security camera was lying broken on the floor, the police report said.

Police believe the burglary occurred between 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. on Monday. They believe the suspects may have been in the building for up to two hours.

Police officials said the two suspects were able to gain entrance into the school by breaking a window at the rear of the school. Once inside the building, the two suspects allegedly vandalized administrative offices, vending machines, took computer parts and more.

Interior security video released by police showed the suspects in a hallway. The suspects were wearing hoodies with their faces mostly covered, and Adidas t-shirts.
Although the full extent of damage and loss is not known at this time, Platte County R-3 School Superintendent Dr. Mike Reik confirmed the estimated damage and loss is approximately $50,000.

The damage was so extensive that school officials had to move the girls basketball game that was scheduled to be held at the high school Monday night to the middle school while school officials cleaned the damage and police officers continued to investigate the scene.

Police aren’t saying what cracked the case. After search warrants were served at the homes of the suspects Tuesday, police officers were able to recover many of the items. Some items were found inside the homes, some were found in a wooded field in the city.

“Two search warrants have been served and numerous stolen items have been recovered which include two way radios, electronic devices, and cash,” Reik said. “The extent of the damage and loss is still being assessed but is estimated to be approximately $50,000. There is no evidence that would suggest any sensitive or secure data has been compromised.”

Reik said he wanted to thank all those who supported the school district during the investigation.

“Once again, we would like to thank dedicated staff members for their continued effort to restore and protect our learning environment,” Reik said. “Administrators, custodians, technology personnel, and teachers have made personal sacrifices to ensure the welfare of our students. Additionally, we would like to thank the Platte City Police Department and the Platte County Sheriff's Department for their support and professionalism.”