ECHS burglarized

Published 6:42 pm Sunday, April 3, 2011

Investigator Scott Walden of the Atmore Police Department inspects a vending machine that was broken into during the break-in at Escambia County High School Saturday night.|Photo by Chandler Myers

Escambia County High School was hit twice by vandals in a period of 24 hours that broke into the school possibly in search of money.

The first break-in occurred in the late hours of Saturday night, while the second offense took place in the late hours of Sunday.

Officers and investigators with the Atmore Police Department were called to the school after both incidents were discovered.

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According to Escambia County High School principal Zickeyous Byrd, Sunday night the suspects busted out windows in the school’s cafeteria to enter the building.

The break-in was discovered just one day after school officials found several things in disarray from a Saturday night break-in.

Escambia County High School principal Zickeyous Byrd said it looked as if the suspects were again looking for money.

“They broke the windows in the cafeteria,” he said. “This time they entered my office and it looks as if they just rummaged through things looking for money, but they didn’t take anything.”

School officials and personnel with the Atmore Police Department will examine the footage from the school’s surveillance cameras to determine if they have anything useful that will help with the investigation.

The incident that occurred on Saturday night included damage to several things including file cabinets and vending machines.

Investigators and officers with the Atmore Police Department were on the scene Sunday afternoon along with ECHS principal Zickeyous Byrd and ECHS liaison Jonathan Barnes.

Byrd said the break-in only hurts the students.

“We had a break-in overnight, which is very unfortunate,” he said. “Anytime that someone comes in and takes something that doesn’t belong to them or is something for the betterment of the school, it essentially hurts the school and the students. When someone takes things, it takes it way from the children.”

The incident occurred sometime after 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night, according to Byrd who left the building around that time.

The suspect who remains at large pried into several file cabinet, but did not take any files from them.

Byrd said the most the vandal got away with was some money from a vending machine in the school’s old gym.

“From what we noticed, they took the cash out of the vending machines, which is the school’s own source of revenue to purchase things,” he said. “They broke into the counselor’s office and went through a couple of files as well as the attendance office’s files. They also broke into a safe, but we don’t keep money in things such as that. It appears that someone was just being devious and trying to cause trouble for us.”