PERU — Vandalism by at least three young, local girls caused little damage, but created a huge mess at the former Peru Elementary School in West Peru.
Oxford County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Tim Holland said two 12-year-old girls and one 10-year-old girl were apprehended late Monday afternoon after interviews were held with the girls and their parents. They were not charged, but instead told to clean up the mess, which they were doing later that afternoon.
“The discipline will be left up to the parents,” Holland said.
A fourth girl is believed to have taken part in the vandalism. Holland is continuing the investigation.
Virtually every room in the former school was affected in some way.
Selectmen's secretary Kathy Hussey discovered the break-in when she went into the building early Monday to check on a space for an exercise class scheduled to begin that night.
In the kitchen of the building, paper towels, dish detergent and other items were strewn around the floor. A Recreation Committee closet was opened and several pieces of sporting equipment taken.
Almost all items found in any of the rooms' closets were taken out and thrown around the rooms.
In an upstairs former classroom, four names were written on the blackboard. Obscenities were written on other blackboards.
All the toilets were plugged with tissue paper or cloths.
Holland said entrance was likely gained through a side door. Selectman Jim Pulsifer said the door had been jimmied.
The alarm was off because of the great amount of activity that had been taking place in the building by volunteers.
Holland said his investigation showed that the vandalism likely took place sometime Saturday afternoon.
“We just had the building cleaned last week,” said Holland, who is a member of the town's Recreation Committee.