School officials in the North Central area of Kershaw County received a shocking surprise after returning from the three day Memorial Day weekend when they discovered that 26 of 29 school buses had been vandalized. Several windows were broken out in the vehicles and tires were slashed. Students from North Central High School, North Central Middle School, and four elementary schools in the area were delayed getting to school because of the incident. Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Captain David Thomley says investigators are gathering leads in an effort to find the perpetrators.
“There was some evidence left behind that we hope will aid in the investigation. But the other thing is, to make sure we get the word out, somebody in that area knows who is responsible for this and we hope they come forward and assist us in this investigation.”Thomley says there are no surveillance cameras where the buses are kept.
Thomley estimates that the damage to the buses will run into several thousand dollars. “Not all of the buses had the windows knocked out, but 26 buses had punctured tires and you’re talking about $200 plus per tire, so that bill is going to be pretty high. Then we have some radiator reservoirs that were also punctured and those are around $150 to replace as well.”
Thomley says investigators have not ruled out any scenarios including a disgruntled student or a school prank that escalated into something that is much more serious in nature. ” We’re looking in our immediate area first, and then if we don’t come up with anything there, we’ll broaden the search, but that’s why I feel someone in that area is going to provide us with some information that will be helpful to us.”