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KCSO seek three for L-EMS vandalism

Posted: October 22, 2013 7:36 p.m.
Updated: October 23, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) is seeking the whereabouts of three men, possibly teenagers, caught on surveillance video breaking the windows of a Lugoff-Elgin Middle School (L-EMS) activity bus early Sunday morning. The trio is also suspected of vandalizing Lugoff-Elgin High School (L-EHS).

Deputies responding to L-EMS found several broken windows following a phone call from a nearby resident who said they heard glass breaking. Deputies searched the area after alerting L-EMS’ principal, but were unable to find anyone. The principal pulled up a security camera facing the rear of the building, near the bus parking lot, showing the three suspects vandalizing the school bus.

Kershaw County School District (KCSD) Director of Operations Billy Smith arrived to help evaluate the damage. Smith and a deputy noticed that a L-EHS door had been propped open. The deputy noticed a display case in the building had been damaged. Several exit signs and glass windows in classrooms were found to have been damaged as well. Several cafeteria door windows were busted; plate glass windows were smashed in a rear main hallway of the school, several wellness center windows and two windows in doors leading to the dance classrooms had also been damaged. Additional security footage showed the same three men, appearing to be in their teens, according to the incident report; one of the suspects could be seen carrying a baseball bat.

On video, the three suspects can be seen walking behind L-EMS to L-EHS. One of the suspects is seen breaking an L-EHS security camera near the school’s wellness center before the trio could be seen walking back to the middle school. At that point, one could be seen with the bat, and another with the surveillance camera, and then vandalizing the bus.

KCSD Director of Communications Mary Anne Byrd said approximately 23 windows and seven exits were damaged. Although there is no cost estimate yet, it took several custodians to clean up the “extensive damage” Sunday. The crew used plastic and plywood materials as a substitute to fill the spaces. School reopened Monday with no delays, Byrd said, adding that staff will work quickly to restore the school to working conditions. 

Deputies searching the area were unable to find any footprints or possible escape routes.

There is now a $1,000 reward for a tip leading to the suspects’ arrest. Tipsters are being asked to contact L-EHS administrators or the KCSO.

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