BARBERTON, Ohio (WJW)-- Three young adults were caught on camera circling and vandalizing Barberton Elementary School West, which caused thousands of dollars in damages.
Barberton Police Officer Marty Eberhart says the schools high-tech surveillance system, which was installed to protect students and staff, recorded the men for about 15 minutes starting around 2:20 a.m. Friday.
“I have no idea what they were thinking,” Eberhart said. “They tried to get into the building by prying the door open,. They also destroyed the sign, as well as threw rocks at the windows and light fixtures around the building.”
A very large and expensive, electrical digital sign in front of the building was totally decimated.
Principal Brenda Sincel sayid the panels were ripped off of the sign and there were pieces of it strewn across the grass when they arrived for school. Next, they discovered that their sidewalk salt supply bin had been busted open and all of the salt was dumped out. Much of it had washed away in the rain.
“My toughest part was seeing the garden that our teachers and students take care of and the work they put into it was just destroyed,” Sincel said. “Sunflowers were ripped out of the ground and our bird feeder was smashed.”
The school resource officer turned the surveillance video over to police, who recognized two of the suspects from a stop the night before. All three were quickly apprehended.
Jonathan Carpenter, 20, Zakary Yanders, 20, and Jeremiah Clark, 18, were all charged with felony vandalism, punishable by up to $2,500 in fines and 12 months in jail.
Officer Eberhart said he hopes the quick arrest and charges serve as a warning and/or deterrent to any other would be vandals.
“It was just stupid on their part. And the bigger message is, if you do anything at one of our buildings in our school district, with the cameras we have and security we have, you’re gonna get caught,” Eberhart said.