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Police arrest 13 juveniles in vandalism

Chuck Biedka
| Friday, July 29, 2005

Vandalism and thefts at two Alle-Kiski Valley schools resulted in 13 juvenile arrests in Harrison and the recovery of stolen lab equipment in Springdale.

By Thursday, Harrison police arrested 13 youths for vandalism at the Highlands Middle School last Saturday, said Detective Floyd "Bucky" Taraszewski.

In the other case, thousands of dollars of Springdale High School lab equipment was found in a box truck in the borough hours after it was taken, police said.

Taraszewski said he and Sgt. Jim Nold caught nine of the 13 youths inside Highlands Middle School in Harrison at about 8 p.m. Saturday. The other youths were found later.

Charges were referred to juvenile authorities.

The middle school students allegedly broke into the school and were riding skateboards inside, Taraszewski said. The youth allegedly damaged a hardwood floor and ripped a curtain causing perhaps $5,000 in damage, he said.

Principal Frank Moxie said he didn't have an estimate damage yet.

In Springdale, four laptop computers and other items were taken from the high school, but they were found hours later in a box truck parked in the Gas Lite Manufacturing Co. lot along Railroad Street.

Police Chief Joseph Naviglia said the laptops, CD players, radios, headsets and microphones were found, along with a glue gun and propane tank taken from the school. A school official said the items were part of a mobile lab that was in a classroom.

The theft was reported to police at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Company operations manager Wendy Stover said the youths put the laptops and other things inside the rear of a company box truck. Police were called when the items were discovered. Stover said the passenger compartment of the truck was locked.

Springdale High School Assistant Principal Chris Allman was surprised at the speed at which the items were recovered and returned.

"They brought everything back before noon," he said. "I was amazed."

Allegheny County detectives are comparing fingerprints. A department spokesman didn't return calls Thursday.

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