Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Suspected thieves on camera looting Istrouma

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BATON ROUGE - Istrouma High School has a long and storied history in Baton Rouge, but now thieves are suspected to be taking it apart piece by piece.

The state's Recovery School District decided to close the high school at the end of last year, and vandals have started to take advantage. Our cameras Tuesday caught a truck full of men packed high with equipment leaving Istrouma in a hurry. Neighbors said they were stealing equipment.

"It's time for someone to step up and help this school," said Kindoll Lamotte, who graduated from the school in the 1990s.

Obvious signs of neglect are visible all over the shuttered campus. A broken water pipe continuously floods an outdoor bathroom, while shards of glass are strewn around from a broken window at the school's recreation facilities.

"The whole entire school is open," Lamotte said. "Anybody can come here and do what they please."

Lamotte said that all the welding equipment was left inside when the school closed and now it's gone.

"Welding room looks like there isn't one," Lamotte said. "Someone broke in and pushed everything to the front, like they were going to come with a truck to get the rest of it."

The football stadium also fell victim to suspected thieves, with rows of bleacher seats removed. Baton Rouge Police said the aluminum seats were probably sold for scrap metal.

"I am a proud alumnus," Lamotte said. "And I am very hurt to see the school has gotten to this point."

RSD officials denied an on camera interview but told me they are working with Baton Rouge Police regarding allegations of theft on campus and that they will now hire private security for the school.


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