Monday, May 27, 2013

Elementary School In Two Rivers, Alaska Vandalized And Burglarized For The Second Time In A Year; Anchorage School District Ramps Up RV Camper-Host Program

Now that school is out for the summer, the schools will become targets for burglary and vandalism once again. And someone got off to a head start in Interior Alaska. For the second time in a year, the Two Rivers Elementary School, which is part of the Fairbanks North Star School District, has been burglarized, and this time it was vandalized as well. From the Alaska State Troopers Daily Dispatch for May 27th, 2013:

Location: Fairbanks

Case number: AK13035516

Type: Theft, Vandalism

Text: On 5/26/2013 staff at Two Rivers K-8 School contacted Troopers to report someone had vandalized the interior and exterior of the school and stole n multiple items. An investigation revealed a group of individuals entered the school in the early morning hours of 5/26/2013 and vandalized multiple class rooms and common areas before leaving the school with multiple electronic items including 9 IPads and multiple IPod Touch devices. Damage to the school is estimated at approximately $10,000 and items stolen are valued at over $7500.00. Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Troopers at 451-5100.

Update May 30th: The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has made surveillance video available. It shows three individuals accessing the school, then departing later with equipment in their hands:

Two Rivers is actually an unincorporated community of 719 people (2010) about 20 miles east-northeast of Fairbanks. The school is located at Mile 18 of Chena Hot Springs Road. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner adds more detail to the story. They report that several windows both inside and outside the school were broken, and that the perps urinated and defecated at random throughout the school. The school was previously burglarized on May 21st, 2012, when someone took seven Apple laptop computers and 14 iPads.

Consequently, Craigslist should be watched to see if any IPads and IPods suddenly appear for sale. If anyone comes up and offers an IPad or IPod for sale, politely decline, record a description of the person, and notify Troopers.

In the past, the Anchorage School District has recruited citizens with RVs to park at their schools during the summer break so their presence deters vandalism. While the volunteers receive no salary, they get free parking, power, water, and once-a-week pumping of their holding tank for their RVs. ASD is recruiting volunteers for this summer as well, and asks for a one-month minimum commitment. This scheme could work for Fairbanks if they can scare up the funds.

Punishment for the vandals, if caught, is absolutely essential, particularly if they are teenagers. We cannot afford to view teenage vandalism as "growing pains" or a "rite of passage"; it is a crime that costs us money. Adults need to go to prison, and teenagers who do this need to spend their entire summer break busting their knuckles under adult supervision fixing the damage and engaging in other public works project. Taking away a teenager's summer break will get the desired attention.


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