RANGELEY — Police have charged two 17-year-old boys from Rangeley and Avon with breaking into Rangeley Lakes Regional School and causing more than $8,000 in damages.

Damage included spray-painted anti-Semitic messages, swastikas, racial slurs and anti-police statements, Police Chief Russell French said.

Cooking oil stored in a large storage room that was broken into was poured over several objects and the floor.

“It was just a mess,” French said.

The paint may be able to be removed or painted over in some cases, he said, but the damage done with cooking oil is permanent.

Each boy has been issued a juvenile summons on one felony count of burglary and aggravated criminal mischief, the chief said. They were charged separately on Monday and Tuesday and each released to a parent.

They are scheduled to appear Oct. 6 in Juvenile Court in Farmington.

The head of maintenance alerted police to the vandalism upon opening the building Aug. 3.

At some point during the evening of Aug. 2 and the morning of Aug. 3, police believe the boys broke into the school by climbing onto the roof and entering through a maintenance hatch, French said. School officials are working to make sure access is not gained again in that way.

The majority of the damage occurred in a large, second-floor storage area. Damage was done to walls, floors, heat ducts, sections of the stage, furniture, a Yamaha keyboard and other classroom items.

“We spent the better part of a day collecting evidence, including fingerprints and sole prints” to help solve the crime, French said.

French will be talking with a representative of the Maine Attorney General’s Office to see if this case would be considered a hate crime.

He is of the opinion that though the remarks made and some statements written are disrespectful, offensive and inappropriate, they were not aimed at any particular group.

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