School vandalism typical in summer

Vandals broke a couple of windows Wednesday nightat East Elementary School, and a janitor found a marijuana pipe on the school's playground the previous morning, according to Craig police.

Police also have received reports of minors smoking and drinking at Craig Middle School, Lt. John Forgay said.

It's mid-July, the time of year when crimes such as these pop up in Craig, Forgay said. It's not unusual for students out of school for the summer to congregate in places such as playgrounds.

The Craig Police Department plans to increase patrols of these areas in response to the reports, he said.

"Based on those couple things, officers will be noticed to do more patrolling in those areas," Forgay said.

Officers will patrol the areas on foot, he said, because they are spotted too quickly when they patrol in their cars, and the minors have dispersed by the time police arrive on scene.

Minors aren't committing a crime just by hanging out around schools, Forgay said. But if they are out past the city's curfew, they can be charged with trespassing. On weekdays, the curfew is 10 p.m. and on weeknights it's midnight.

If police catch minors out past these hours, they can contact school officials to see whether they want to press trespassing charges.

Police won't necessarily cite minors every time they contact them at these locations, Forgay said. But police would likely question the youths about the vandalism and beer bottles found at the playground.

There are no leads in the vandalism case, Forgay said.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.

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