LAPLACE, La. (WGNO)— Multiple people are behind bars in connection to a break-in at a LaPlace elementary school that damaged several classrooms last month.
On Saturday, the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office announced a series of arrests of six people linked to the investigation — namely a 21-year-old man and five juvenile suspects.
Deputies responded to Emily C. Watkins Elementary on Monday, August 8 for a report of vandalism. When they arrived, detectives discovered there was paint smeared on the walls and floors of several rooms and hallways.
The SJSO also says there was a vending machine that had been flipped upside down and rooms had been ransacked with food, soda, and cleaning liquids on floors and countertops, along with a broken guitar and multiple fire extinguishers that had been discharged.
After reviewing surveillance footage, detectives were able to take five suspects into custody, starting with 21-year-old Desmond Kelson Jr. on August 25. Kelson was booked on two cares: unauthorized entry of a place of business and simple criminal damage to property (both felony charges) At the last report, Kelson was being held at the St. John Parish Correctional Center in lieu of a $17,000 bond.
Throughout the next seven days, five juveniles were also arrested in connection to the incident:
- A 14-year-old male
- Two 15-year-old females
- A 15-year-old male
- A 17-year-old male
All five were also charged with felony unauthorized entry and criminal damage to property. All five juveniles have since been released to their parents.
Investigators are currently in the process of gathering evidence and information to identify the person(s) responsible for this incident, as well as a motive. No additional details are currently available.