APD arrests 4 vandal suspects

Published 11:59 pm Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Andalusia Police Department officers arrested four male juveniles Tuesday in connection with three separate incidents of vandalism at Andalusia High School.

APD Lt. Mike Bowlan said the arrests were made thanks to “good investigative techniques in cooperation with observant patrol officers.”

The suspects include two 15-year-olds, one 16-year-old and one 17-year-old. Bowlan declined to comment on if any of the suspects are students at AHS and said the four were being detained at a juvenile facility in Dothan.

“We were looking at three incidents in the high school,” Bowlan said. “Tuesday, everything just came together and Investigators (Alice) Donaldson and (Barney) Tyree were able to solve all the cases at the same time and make the arrests. We are confident this group was responsible for the damage done at the high school.”

Bowlan said the four juveniles were charged with second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal trespass, third-degree theft of property and third-degree burglary.

He said it is unknown what the penalties will be if the suspects are found guilty, but in similar cases he has seen restitution levied as both fines and community service.

The most recent incident occurred last Friday, when vandals damaged the school’s greenhouse and baseball field concession stand, as well as the construction site where AHS’s new agriscience building is being built. In two separate incidents in January, vandals broke into the annex building, band concession stand and also damaged the school’s busses.

“The school systems are already suffering from proration,” Bowlan said. “It places the schools in a spot where they may or may not have the money to get the repairs done. The vandals might have thought, ‘it’s not costing me anything,’ but somebody has to pay for it. In most cases, it ends up coming out of our taxpayers’ pockets.”