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Police Investigate Vandalism at MHS

By Staff | Jun 4, 2015

Pictured is just a portion of the damage done by four individuals who broke into Magnolia High School early Thursday morning. (Photos by Bruce Crawford)

UPDATE:

New Martinsville Police Department has apprehended four individuals in connection with the vandalism of Magnolia High School. The vandalism was discovered early Thursday morning.

NMPD Police Chief Tim Cecil stated that the damage was substantial but “could’ve been a lot worse.” Cecil stated that the individuals who vandalized the school destroyed computers, busted glass, dumped soda on computers as well as water in a copier machine

Cecil Cecil stated that it is unclear exactly how the individuals broke into the school. Furthermore, law enforcement is unsure of the value amount of the damage that is done. Cecil stated that the amount could be more than $20,000.

Chief Cecil and MHS Principal Kathi Schmalz both remarked with sadness that the incident occurred the day after a funeral was held for Wetzel County resident Dillon Jackson, a recent graduate of Magnolia High School that died as a result of an ATV accident. Jackson was a star football player in high school; Cecil remarked that at Jackson’s funeral, the topic of pride for Magnolia was prevalent.

“This isn’t who we are,” Schmalz agreed. “I’m very saddened.” Schmalz added that she never would have expected this behavior from the suspects apprehended by law enforcement. Notably, Schmalz herself identified the suspects from video surveillance footage.

When asked what she wants to tell the members of the community about the situation, Schmalz explains that the behaviors shown by the four individuals “is not typical of Magnolia High School students. This act does not portray the kind of students we have here,” she added.

Schmalz stated that three of the individuals were members of the Class of 2015. Cecil added that one of the individuals was a 2014 graduate.

When asked about a possible motive, Schmalz stated that considering the damage that was done and what could have been done, she truly believes the motive was destruction and not an act of revenge.

Notably, Thursday was a day for eighth grade orientation. Students that are currently eighth grade students at New Martinsville School were supposed to tour the high school. When asked what she would want those eighth graders to know, Schmalz stated that she would want the students to know that they are beginning a new journey and that what has happened, in regards to the vandalism at Magnolia, is not the norm. “We are a family here at Magnolia,” she stated.

ORIGINAL STORY:

New Martinsville Police Department is currently investigating vandalism that occurred at Magnolia High School overnight.

NMPD Police Chief Tim Cecil stated that the vandalism was substantial but “could’ve been a lot worse.” He added that the suspects “picked which teachers they wanted to mess with.”

Cecil stated that the individuals who vandalized the school destroyed computers, busted glass, dumped Coke on computers, as well as water in a copier machine.

Currently three students have been apprehended, with law enforcement looking for a fourth suspect. Cecil stated that these are not current students of the school. “They graduated,” he stated.

Cecil stated that it is unclear exactly how the individuals broke in to the school.

Law enforcement is unsure of the value amount of the damage that is done. Cecil stated that the amount could be more than $20,000.

NMPD encourages anyone with additional information regarding this crime to call 304-455-9100.