By Kevin Wilson
Two juveniles were arrested Monday on vandalism charges related to last week’s damage at three local schools and three businesses.
Two 13-year-olds were arrested upon tips received by the Portales Police Department.
“I got a tip the morning of the criminal damage that gave us suspects,” Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said. “The following night, we had damage done at Broad Horizons (Educational Center).”
Both teens were charged with committing criminal damage and burglary. They are accused of causing damage that took place at Portales Junior High, Steiner Elementary, Valencia Elementary, Main Street Exchange, Quality Sales and Poynor’s bike shop.
The damage at the schools is likely in excess of $20,000, said Portales Schools Superintendent Jim Holloway.
“We’re still putting it all together,” Holloway said. “Part of the estimate on our damage is the amount of time we’re spending on this and not being able to do our normal jobs.”
Holloway said his records show the accused to be students in a Portales school, but he declined to say which one. Holloway said vandalism cases usually involve a suspension of up to 10 days and the possibility of an expulsion hearing.
“We’ve had other acts of vandalism,” Holloway said. “I’m not sure if these are related … to any others. We don’t have a sense of closure. We still have the windows broken out, we still have signs of vandalism all over the place.”
The school, in conjunction with Roosevelt County Crimestoppers, offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
“It’s nice to be able to do that,” Berry said. “I think the people probably would have called in anyway. I don’t think that would have kept them from calling and giving information if there had not been a reward.”