Vandals damage Mountainview’s computer lab, library overnight

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Vandals broke into Mountainview Elementary School last night, destroying the school’s lower computer lab, toppling bookcases, breaking monitors and smashing a new flat panel.

“Based on the nature of the crime itself and what happened at the school site, we’re talking about thousands of dollars’ worth of damage,” said Lee Morell, public information officer for the Saugus Union School District which oversees Mountainview.

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station took a police report of the vandalism and said the investigation of the incident is ongoing.

“Sometime during the early-morning hours the school’s computer lab was broken into and acts of vandalism occurred such as computers damaged, a large-screen TV was damaged, wires were pulled,” said Sgt. Tim Vander Leek of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.  “The school was in disarray.”

As Mountainview opened Thursday and staff traveled to different areas of the school, they found that there were additional rooms and areas that had been vandalized, according to Sgt. Vander Leek.

In an email sent to the school’s parents, Principal Katie Demsher said the vandals also attempted to break into various classrooms around campus including the school’s two-story building.

“Many screens were torn or ripped off the windows of classrooms,” Demsher said in her email Thursday morning.

Overall, damage to the lower computer lab was the most extensive.

“Monitors were thrown and broken, and liquid was poured over key boards.  Our brand new flat panel was kicked and badly gouged with sharp items,” Demsher said.

Vandals also broke into the school’s communications closet and destroyed the wireless mainframe.  Mountainview’s IT department worked all morning to get the school’s internet and phones up and running again, according to Demsher.

As of now, classes are suspended from the school’s library as the school works to get it back to “working order.”

“If we have any parent volunteers available to come help with cleanup of our library, please come to the school whenever you can,” Demsher said.

The elementary school is asking the community-at-large to monitor social media for any videos or photos of the damage occurring at the school.

“Often these things get posted by vandals who feel great joy sharing their destruction of places like our beautiful Mountainview,” Demsher said.

Mountainview is also asking community embers to contact the school or the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, at 661-255-1121, if they witnessed anything near or around the neighborhood last night.

“Please continue to be vigilant and report any concerning people or events going on near the school or within the neighborhood,” Demsher said.  “We need to make sure vandals know that we do not tolerate this kind of behavior in our neighborhood.”

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