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EDUCATION

UPDATE: Middle School vandal hoped to keep building locked

Police have identified a suspect and expect criminal charges this week

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A vandal damaged the wireless card readers at Carroll Middle School and filled keyholes with epoxy in an apparent attempt to prevent the school from opening Monday.

“We have one suspect at this time and expect charges later this week,” Carroll Police Chief Brad Burke said Tuesday.

The damage was reported about 2:55 a.m. Monday by a delivery driver, Burke said. Staff members use the card readers to unlock doors by placing an identification card near them. All of the card readers at the school's exterior doors were damaged, along with a surveillance camera.

It’s unclear what information investigators have gleaned from the surveillance video recordings.

Also, “there was a substance put in the door locks suspected to be an epoxy placed in the locks in an attempt to keep anyone from entering with a key,” Burke said.

A custodian later was able to use a key to enter one of the doors, and school was not canceled or delayed. The card readers have since been repaired.

Burke said the damage is likely in excess of $1,500, which if the student were an adult would make the crime a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

However, the student’s fate will likely be decided in juvenile court, where a judge can order probation, foster care placement, residential treatment or a stint at a state juvenile institution, which is typically reserved for violent crimes and repeat offenses.

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