Officers with the DeFuniak Springs Police responded to West DeFuniak Elementary School on Thursday, March 29, 2012 at approximately 5:15 PM for a report of a burglary and vandalism. School personnel were doing last minute preparations for the return of students when they discovered papers scattered throughout the halls. Further investigation revealed that the teacher’s lounge had blue syrup splattered throughout. Many of the teachers’ mailboxes had been opened and the contents removed. An open window was discovered where suspects were able to gain entry. Video surveillance showed the crimes occurred between 10:30 PM on March 28th to 12:30 AM on March 29th.
Officers responded to another report on Friday, March 30, 2012, at approximately 0700 hrs. in reference to another burglary and vandalism incident. School personnel advised that another incident had occurred during the night of March 29th. The same window was used to gain entry. School personnel reported that multiple items of food were taken and some of the locked storage closet doors were pried on. No items were believed to be taken.
Upon reviewing the school video surveillance system, multiple juvenile suspects were observed and identified by the investigating Officer. The investigation encompassed students of other Walton County Schools who advised they broke in because they were “bored.” The Criminal Investigations Division concluded the investigation with the arrest of 8 juveniles. Among those juveniles arrested were three 15 year old white females, a 15 year old and 17 year old white female, a 14 year old and 16 year old hispanic male, and a 13 year old white male. One of the suspects took her 7 year old sister and involved her in the commission of the crimes. The 7 year old was not charged. All suspects were charged with differing counts of burglary and criminal mischief based on their involvement. They were booked into the Walton County Department of Corrections on April 5, 2012 and later released to their parents or guardians.