Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell announced Monday that two teens were detained after major vandalism was found at Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School that caused officials to cancel classes for the day.
Ravenell said the pair gained access to the school Sunday night and vandalized windows inside, ripped surveillance equipment from the walls and ceilings, and stole electronic equipment.
“It took the vandals longer to destroy the school than it took us to identify and take them into custody,” Ravenell said in a statement to reporters, “This is an extremely serious incident, not just because of the potential for injury left behind by the vandalism but also because of the manpower from law enforcement, the property to replace and damages to repair throughout the school, and the interruption of the school day.”
Officers said they found some of the missing items after executing a search warrant at the home of one of the teens.
Ravenell said the teens ran after setting off the fire alarm while they sprayed fire extinguishers in one of the rooms. The Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety after they responded to the alarm at 3:31 a.m. More than 20 law enforcement officers were part of the initial response at the school today including Forensic Services, Investigations, and School Resource Officers.
The teens, who were not identified due to their age, are charged with second-degree burglary, grand larceny, and malicious injury to personal property over $10,000. They are now in the custody of the state Department of Juvenile Justice.