Teens detained in vandalism


— Three teenagers were detained by Steamboat Springs police officers and Routt County Sheriff's Office deputies early Wednesday after someone reportedly saw them breaking windows at Soda Creek Elementary School and Steamboat Springs Middle School.

Undersheriff Dan Taylor said three teenagers ages 16 and 17 were detained by officers after officers received a call from a neighbor who had heard glass breaking.

Steamboat Springs Middle School Principal Tim Bishop said a window at the elementary school and several door windows at the middle school were broken. A truck parked at the middle school also was heavily damaged.

"It makes me sad this happened, because we take a lot of pride in our building," Bishop said. "I'm very disappointed."

Taylor said the incident occurred at about 1 a.m.

The person who reported the incident watched the crimes occur and helped officers find the suspected teens, Taylor said. Officers found them in a car getting ready to leave the scene. Police officers held the suspects until sheriff's deputies arrived on scene to interview them. The teens later were released to their parents.

"I want to thank the police department for assisting us and for a great response," Taylor said.

The teens could face criminal charges, but Taylor did not want to speculate about what those charges might be.

"Right now, we're reviewing our reports and putting together our information so we can have something to give the DA," Taylor said.

The District Attorney's Office will determine whether to file charges in the case.

Bishop said he and three other people cleaned the vandalized areas at about 4 a.m. so the broken glass would be cleared before students arrived for school at 7:45 a.m.

Wood planks have been put over the windows and will remain there until new windows can be installed in two or three weeks. The damaged vehicle was also will remain on school grounds.

Bishop said he was glad police officers and sheriff's deputies were able to apprehend the teens suspected of causing the damage.

"I appreciate the neighborhood keeping an eye on our schools," he said.

-- To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234 or e-mail adelacruz@steamboatpilot.com


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