Two juveniles charged in high school vandalism

Source: Taylor Kearns
Source: Taylor Kearns

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Two juveniles are being detained in connection with the break-in and subsequent vandalism to Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School that canceled classes for the entire school on Monday.

Students were sent home shortly after 10 a.m. after district and law enforcement officials decided the mess left behind and investigation would take most of the day.

Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said the two juveniles gained access to the high school on Sunday night and vandalized windows inside the school, ripped surveillance equipment from the walls and ceilings, and stole electronics over a five hour period.

"It took the vandals longer to destroy the school than it took us to identify and take them into custody," said Ravenell. "This is an extremely serious incident, not just because of the potential for injury left behind by the vandalism but also because of the manpower from law enforcement, the property to replace and damages to repair throughout the school, and the interruption of the school day."

Officers executed a search warrant at the home of one of the juveniles and located several items that have been reported missing Monday morning from the school, Ravenell said.

Ravenell said the juveniles were startled when the fire alarm went off as the pair sprayed fire extinguishers around 3:30 a.m. The Sheriff's Office was notified by the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety after they responded to the alarm.

More than 20 law enforcement officers, including forensic services, investigations and school resource officers, were part of the initial response at the school.

The pair is charged with burglary - second degree, grand larceny, and malicious injury to personal property over $10,000.

This investigation continues as deputies identify additional items that were stolen.

If you know anything about this incident, you are urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.