Commonwealth Journal

News Live

May 14, 2014

3 charged in weekend school burglaries

Somerset —

Three individuals — two of them juveniles — have been charged in connection with burglaries at multiple local schools.
According to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, both Southern Elementary and Southern Middle School were broken into on Sunday night, resulting in charges being filed against two juvenile males, as well as Nickolas Shook, 20, of Monticello. All three individuals were from neighboring Wayne County.
The investigation began during the early morning hours on Monday, May 12, when school personnel discovered that the schools had been burglarized sometime after closing hours the previous Friday and the start of school Monday.
School Resource Officer Deputy Scott West and Det. Scott Trotter, both of the sheriff’s department, reviewed the security surveillance system at the schools. Images of the three suspects were obtained from the surveillance system and shown to school personnel, who were able to identify the two juveniles and the adult involved in the burglary.
Superintendent Steve Butcher praised the effectiveness of the schools’ security system in helping identify the suspects.
“Our cameras were spectacular,” he said. “The pictures were really good and helped us find out who did it. 
“We didn’t know who the kids were; they weren’t identifiable to us,” he added, but noted that by use of social media, “other peopled step(ped) forward.”
After the two juveniles were identified, Trotter and West traveled to Wayne County and conducted interviews of the two juveniles, who were determined to be brothers. During the investigation, the male suspect was identified and interviewed.
According to the sheriff’s department, all of the suspect admitted to unlawfully entering both schools and taking cash drawers from Southern Middle and cash from Southern Elementary.
Butcher said that the main motivation was apparently money, and nothing specific against either school. He added that the money taken totaled “about $200.”

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