Los Angeles

Kids Busted After Instagram Post Shows Them Vandalizing Several Santa Monica Schools

Five youths ages 11 to 13 were issued citations by police for vandalizing several Santa Monica schools over the weekend, a lieutenant said Tuesday.

The children were identified by authorities on Monday after a student not involved in the vandalism posted on Instagram a video taken by someone involved in the vandalism, who circulated it to friends, said Santa Monica police Lt. Candice Cobarrubias.

She said a Santa Monica police officer assigned as a school resource officer worked with personnel at the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to identify the students, whose names were not released.

Four are students in the SMMUSD, and the fifth is a student outside the district, Cobarrubias said. Their cases will be handled by the police department and the school district, she said.

The students confessed to causing the damage that occurred Saturday night at John Muir Elementary School at 2525 Fifth St., Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Ben Drati told CBS2 on Monday.

Three of the five also vandalized the Will Rogers Learning Community, 2401 14th St., and Roosevelt Elementary School, at 801 Montana Ave., according to Drati, who said there was no evidence it was a hate crime.

"We appreciate the community response on this incident," Drati said in a statement emailed to Channel 2.

"Tips and leads including social media posts were reported to SMMUSD and SMPD, leading to the swift identification of all involved in these crimes. We appreciate our ongoing partnership with the SMPD."

The worst of the damage occurred at John Muir Elementary and the Santa Monica Alternative School House, which are located on the same campus.

The campus sustained significant damage to its library, cafeteria, stage, teacher's lounge, book room and exterior areas, according to authorities.

John Muir Elementary had been set up for a fifth grade graduation ceremony in its cafeteria. School employees had to scramble to clean up before the ceremony Monday morning.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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