KING AND QUEEN, VA (WWBT) - The search is on for three people believed to have broken into and vandalized Central high school in King and Queen county.
Dr. Richard Layman, King and Queen Superintendent, said Virginia State Police just wrapped up the onsite investigation and turned the building back over to him. He said he is just beginning to check out the damage. Some of the damage he has seen so far is to doors, ceiling tiles, light fixtures and filing cabinets.
The school had to close for the day as the investigation was underway. Authorities believe someone broke in early this morning with the intention of stealing items from the school, but they were caught in act.
The first deputy on the scene said that a man had arrived to deliver milk to the school when he noticed someone had broken in and called 911.
Once deputies were on scene, they realized the suspects may still be inside the school. They ended up spotting two people and chased them but couldn't get a good look.
The delivery man saw a white jeep cherokee with black trim leaving the scene, so authortities believe three people are involved in this.
Right now, it's unclear if they actually got away with anything from inside the school, but they certainly left behind a lot of damage like broken doors. The actual extent is still under investigation.
Law enforcement and school officials agreed it was best and safest to close the school and are now dealing with what they say is a hard blow to the community.
"Due to the possiblity that the suspects could have still been inside and it was so close to school getting ready to start we didn't want to chance anything, and we wanted to make sure that everything was 100 percent," said Bryan Longest, deputy with King and Queen County Sheriffs Office.
"This is really a center of our community and we work hard to keep it nice and provide a good education program, and it's unfortunate when it's broken into and damaged," Layman said.
State police are on scene assisting in the evidence collection of this investigation. School officials are hoping the damage is minimal because in this tough economy their budget is pretty much tapped out.
The superintendent says they'll clean up over the weekend and school should be in session as normal on Monday.