BELFAST — Seven Waldo County juveniles have been charged with burglary following a night of criminal mischief Aug. 7.
Some of the juveniles arrested are students at Belfast Area High School, while several others had run away from a Belfast residential treatment facility for troubled kids and teens.
Charged with burglary, criminal mischief, and criminal trespass as a result of the evening’s activities, several juveniles were arrested while several others were either returned to their residential treatment facility or released to their parents’ custody. One teen, who was already on probation conditions, was transferred to Long Creek Youth Development Center after his arrest.
Belfast Police Sergeant Detective Matthew Cook said that the group of juveniles had met up at some point during the evening while “roaming around town” and noticed there were lights on at BAHS. They reportedly discovered one of the doors in the school could be opened by pulling hard enough, leading all seven to enter the buildings, some on their bicycles, where they rode around the gym.
The teens next found a ladder, which they used to access the roof to ride their bikes on the roof of the school.
Cook said afterward the teens went down to the high school’s football field and kicked in the door of a shed, where they found and took several cans of orange spray paint.
The group then walked around town spray painting different areas orange or tagging them with explicit phrases. Areas vandalized included a fire hydrant, street signs, phone poles, Belfast’s skate park, and a phallic image spray-painted on a downtown cross-walk, among others. The majority of these marks had been removed from the downtown area as of Aug. 10, however, the graffiti left at the skate park remains.
The teens were identified using video footage from security cameras at BAHS.
Cook said he visited the teen whose parents he thought were most likely to pressure them to be truthful, and found two of the teens involved after arriving at the residence. Both were arrested without incident.
When interviewed later one of the teens reportedly told Cook that they unlatched the side latches on a school bus with the idea of stealing the bus. The teen reportedly said that if the group would have been able to enter and start the bus they would have stolen it.
Cook said Belfast Police requested a curfew be implemented for the teens as part of the conditions of their release.
The teens that were returned to their residential treatment program were issued summonses for the same charges, according to Cook.
Erica Thoms can be reached at email@example.com