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Downey : School Vandal Must Pay

July 10, 1986

An 18-year-old South Gate man has been ordered to pay restitution to the Downey Unified School District for vandalizing two high schools on three separate occasions.

Michael S. Campbell, who began a six-month sentence in County Jail July 1, was ordered to pay $5,879 for damage caused when he and a 17-year-old vandalized lockers at Warren and Downey high schools.

The pair were caught at Warren High on Dec. 15, 1985. According to police records filed in court, both he and the 17-year-old admitted that they had vandalized Warren High the night before and struck at Downey High earlier that day. The minor also confessed to a Nov. 16 vandalism at Downey High. The minor's case "is still pending before the juvenile court," Deputy Dist. Atty. Irwin Bloom said.

More than 500 lockers had been pried open and their contents strewn about. The incidents represent the first time anyone has been arrested in a major act of vandalism in the district, school officials said.

The ruling by a Downey Municipal Court judge at a restitution hearing July 1 left district officials elated--especially since the district filed small claims suits in March seeking $3,166 instead of the full amount of damage.

"All districts are faced with vandalism. This puts out a . . . message that this is not going to be tolerated," said Stan Hanstad, coordinator of attendance and child welfare. "Justice was served."

Supt. Edward Sussman said the district, which has a policy that calls for vigorous prosecution of vandals, will continue to "pursue people who vandalize" Downey schools.

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