Teens charged with vandalism, burglary of school

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -  Staff members at one Chesterfield school walked into a big smelly mess left by vandals. Salem Church Middle School was hit overnight Tuesday.

It's the second school targeted in just over a week. Three teens have been charged in this latest case.

Staff had to clean up fruit punch and pickle juice. Police said that's what was left behind by three teenage boys.

A School Resource Officer with a good eye helped nab the suspects. Cameras rolled about 2 A.M. Tuesday when police said three teenage boys walked into the office at Salem Church Middle.

The surveillance footage hasn't been released because the suspects are underage.

"All the doors were secured so it's unknown how they gained entry," said Lt. T.O. McCullough with Chesterfield Police. School staff later found a huge mess.

"Definitely a juvenile act you could tell by the damage done," said Lt. McCullough.

Police said the teens pried open a locked refrigerator and stole fruit punch and a jar of pickles. They drank the punch and spit it out over paperwork. Police said they took the pickle jar and smashed it on the floor.

McCullough said the teens also sprayed another part of the school with a fire extinguisher.

A big unnecessary clean up job at a school under renovation.

"In these tight budget times I don't know if the staff needs to be doing that kind of stuff they're updating the building making it nicer and we definitely want to keep it in that condition," said McCullough.

On July 10, another Chesterfield school getting a facelift also became a target. Robious Middle School was set on fire.

Police arrested Robert Altizer, 22, after releasing surveillance pictures.

In this latest case, surveillance footage also led to arrests. Police and school officials credit a school resource officer for the quick break.

"They viewed the video also looked at the damage and the SRO actually identified one of the students," said McCullough.

All three are charged with curfew, breaking and entering and vandalism. Two of them also face petit larceny charges. They were released to their parents.

Police tell us they see a rise in vandalism cases during the summer. They've increased patrols at both schools and parks, which are also targets.

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