YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Orange County

2 Other Schools Hit by Vandals; Computer, TV Equipment Taken

Crime: Loss at Saddleback Valley schools put at $12,000. Capistrano Unified campuses also have suffered damage.


Police said Friday that they are investigating two school vandalism incidents in south Orange County to determine whether they were the work of two adults and a juvenile arrested on suspicion of trashing campuses in Capistrano Unified School District.

Saddleback Valley Unified School District officials said vandals broke into San Joaquin Elementary School in Laguna Hills and Los Alisos Intermediate School in Mission Viejo on Tuesday night and stole television and computer equipment valued at $12,000.

That was less than the $50,000 in damage from a Wednesday rampage through Capistrano Valley High, Marco Forster Middle and Del Obispo Elementary schools, but it was still troubling to district officials.

"It is rare for this to happen during the break, and this level of theft is unusual for us," said Jerry Gross, superintendent of Saddleback Valley Unified.

Graffiti was reported at two other elementary schools in the district, he said.

"It's very disturbing that our district and Capistrano Unified have been visited by such crime," Gross said.

Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, said detectives are investigating whether the two crime sprees are related.

"In the Marco Forster situation, they seemed intent on causing destruction rather than taking things like they did at Los Alisos and San Joaquin," Amormino said. "So I kind of doubt the two go together. But we're still looking into it."

In Santa Ana, authorities reported minor vandalism at three schools over the holiday break. In Garden Grove, authorities said an elementary school had a break-in last weekend.

Three suspects were arrested in Wednesday's South County incident after they were spotted on the roof of Marco Forster school. Booked on suspicion of felony vandalism were Daniel J. Kenway, 18, a Dana Hills High School student; Robert DeLuca, 19, a Capistrano Valley High graduate; and a 17-year-old student at Dana Hills High.

Los Angeles Times Articles