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Vandals cause thousands of dollars of damage to EBR schools

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BATON ROUGE- A trio of vandals caused thousands of dollars in damages to two schools in East Baton Rouge Parish over the weekend.

Pictures News 2 obtained detail the damage inside.  Broken windows, shattered glass, and ransacked offices and classrooms greeted administrators as they showed up to school.

Investigators say, 19-year-old DeAnthony Lathan, 17-year-old DyMarco Hills  and a 12-year-old caused the damage to La Belle Aire Elementary and Belle Aire High Schools Sunday morning.  Investigators say, one of the schools' alarms went off alerting authorities to intruders.  When they arrived, K-9 dogs were brought out to help with the search.  They found two of the suspects inside the high school.  A third was found on the roof.  The fire department was called in and had to use a ladder to get him down.

"When I walked in, my office was ransacked," Da'Anne Lipscomb, Principal at Le Belle Aire Elementary said.  "Things were everywhere.  The fax machine was turned upside down; it was really bad.  We scanned the whole school and looked at the damage."

East Baton Rouge Parish School leaders say initial estimates show the damage exceeds $5,000.  However, the damage is still being totaled and that number could increase.  

The priority over the weekend was trying to get everything cleaned up for the students to be able to have class today.

"We weren't going to let that prevent the kids from coming to school," East Baton Rouge Parish Public School Public Information Officer Susan Nelson said.  "We're less than a month away from the end of school.  We don't want to do anything that inhibits their ability to learn."

Investigators said when the trio was arrested, they found $22 in cash, multiple iPod devices, cell phones and a projector from the school on them.  They face burglary and theft charges, and will likely be responsible for the damages.

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