VANDALISM / BURGLARY / ARSON ARRESTS
The Tucson Police Department is currently investigating several reports of vandalism, burglary, and arson that occurred at four Tucson-area schools. These incidents are believed to have occurred in the late evening/early morning hours of October 28-29, 2017.
Officers from Operations Division West (ODW) responded to the first report on October 29, 2017, at approximately 6:45 a.m. A custodian at Amphitheater Middle School, 315 East Prince Road, noticed several windows broken and called 911. As officers checked the school grounds, they could smell smoke coming from the library. The smoke was so thick inside the library that officers were unable to locate the origin of the fire. Tucson Fire Department personnel responded and were able to extinguish the fire. There was significant smoke and fire damage to the library, including a large number of books that were damaged or destroyed. Throughout the school grounds, multiple computers, windows, and a school vehicle were also damaged. Several electronic items from inside the school were stolen; one of the items was later recovered.
On the morning of October 30, 2017, ODW officers responded to reports of vandalism at three additional schools. A staff member at Rillito Center School, 266 East Pastime Road, reported that two exterior drinking fountains and six window panes on a door were broken. It did not appear that entry was made into the building.
A staff member at Amphitheater High School, 125 West Yavapai Road, reported damage to a ticket booth and security booth on the property. Officers also responded to a report of broken windows at Prince Elementary School located at 125 East Prince Road. It does not appear that entry was made at either of those schools.
Operations Division West Neighborhood Crimes Detectives continued the investigation. An exact dollar amount of the damages is not yet known, however, initial estimates are over $200,000. Detectives were able to identify three suspects, a 12-year-old male, a 13-year-old male, and a 15-year-old male. The 12 and 13-year-olds are former students at Amphitheater Middle School and the 15-year-old is a current student of Amphitheater High School. All three were arrested and booked into the Pima County Juvenile Corrections Center on the following charges: one count of Burglary in the Third Degree (a class four felony), one count of Aggravated Criminal Damage (a class four felony), and one count of Arson of an Occupied Structure (a class two felony). Because the defendants are juveniles, their names and booking photos are not available for release.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing. Additional details will be released as they become available. Anyone with information is asked to call 88-CRIME (520-882-7463). You can remain anonymous.