Vandals spray-painted the Bowdish Junior High School gymnasium with red paint and stole $8,000 worth of power tools during two recent break-ins.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested two teenagers for burglary on Tuesday. The boys, age 14 and 15, are suspects in both break-ins. A third suspect, also a teenage boy, will probably be arrested within the next few days, deputies said.
Deputies did not know if the teens were Bowdish students.
Bowdish has been vacant since June. Walker Construction is in the demolition stage of an $8.7 million remodeling project that will be completed by September of 1998. Until then, students are attending other schools.
The burglars first broke into the gymnasium on Nov. 6. They painted the floor and walls with profanities, words and numbers, said Steve Walker, president of Walker Construction. They also stole about $3,000 in power tools belonging to the construction company.
The suspects re-entered the gym Monday night, apparently using some of the stolen power tools to gain entrance, Walker said.
They spray painted again, set off some fire extinguishers and stole an additional $5,000 in tools, carrying them off in a wheelbarrow.
The burglars didn’t appear to bother other buildings on the school grounds, school officials said.
Portable classroom cabinets being stored in the gym were covered with graffiti, Walker said. Fortunately, the wall damage will be covered over in the process of the planned remodeling. The gym floor was covered with plywood and thus was not damaged by the paint.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested the two suspects about four hours after Monday night’s incident, thanks to a tip about the stolen property.
About half of the tools have been recovered, Walker said.