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Sheriff’s Office investigates theft, vandalism at two Vandenberg Village schools

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says now that the school year is well underway, we’re starting to see more incidents pop up – whether they be threats, vandalism or theft.

Now, deputies are investigating two separate incidents affecting school campuses in Vandenberg Village, and they need your help,

“It’s disappointing for everybody to come to school on Monday and see that,” said Kelly Hoover, Public Information Officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

Vulgar graffiti on campus and a smashed window greeted Cabrillo High School students like Jasmine Gonzalez. “It was kind of a big deal, and they boarded up,” she said.

Gonzalez says teachers were buzzing about the damage and the classroom in question was off limits Monday.

“The principals after school were looking at it and they said it was broken from the outside, so the glass was on the inside and it was like someone took a baseball bat and swung it in,” said Gonzalez.

Officials say these type of crime are hard to solve unless someone saw something and is willing to report it.

“It also appeared that someone tried to steal a golf cart and was unsuccessful. So there were vandals at the school over the weekend,” said Hoover.

The Cabrillo incident, coupled with stolen laptops from Buena Vista Elementary over the same weekend have the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office issuing a call to action.

“We want to stop people from stealing from kids, from stealing from their education and from

diverting all these resources away from what really is important,” said Hoover.

One North County laptop was reportedly stolen last week, the other two were discovered stolen on Sunday. In both cases, the Sheriff’s Office says it appears the suspect or suspects pried open a window and removed the screen to gain entry into the classroom.

Everyone is frustrated with these types of incidents and we really want to motivate the public to help us solve these crimes and to report things that they see that are suspicious,” said Hoover.

Hoover says they have no reason to believe the string of vandalism and theft is at the hands of the recently displaced homeless population and as far as the Cabrillo incident goes, the damage was likely caused by a student or young person but they don’t know – which is why they’re asking folks to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating both cases and is asking anyone with information to please call School Resource Deputy Dennis Thomas at 805-737-7737 or if it is after hours, please call our non-emergency dispatch line at 805-683-2724. To leave an anonymous tip, please call 805-681-4171 or click here.

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