Detectives investigating an act of vandalism at Valencia High School in which three trees were cut down are now scrutinizing video footage captured by school surveillance cameras.
Sometime Monday night, students — reportedly four — entered the school’s Memorial Garden and cut the adult trees down as a prank, including one tree planted by a memorial plaque in honor of “Fallen Vikings” in reference to Valencia students who died.
Detective Adam Dorman of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station’s Career Offenders, Burglary, and Robbery Apprehension (COBRA) team is investigating the incident, SCV Sheriff spokeswoman Shirley Miller said.
“Dorman said if anyone has information that would aid in identifying the suspects, they can call our detective bureau at 661-255-1121 ext 5146, or anonymously report tips through LA Crime Stoppers,” she said.
Students and teachers alike remain stunned by the vandalism.
“It is unfortunate that someone has chosen to commit a malicious act against Valencia High School, and in particular, the memorial garden that honors graduates who have passed away,” Dave Caldwell, spokesman for the William S. Hart Union High School District told The Signal on Wednesday.
“We are reviewing security camera footage to identify the culprits, and will be seeking restitution,” he said. “We have also reported the incident to our School Resource Officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which will make its own determination regarding criminal charges.”
The plaque placed at the foot of one of the trees, now a stump, reads: The students, staff and parents of Valencia High School do early dedicate this memorial garden to the memory of Fallen Vikings, past, present and future.”
The plaque is dated April 20, 1999.
As one Valencia woman posted on Facebook:
“We are extremely sad to know that someone would commit such a damaging and disrespectful act, but we also know that it does not reflect our students, nor our community.
“While there is video footage of the vandals, we are looking for any support from our Viking community who might overhear or know something about who committed this violent act to our campus.
“Please consider emailing VHStip@hartdistrict.org with information.”
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt