BELFAST (WGME) – Seven juveniles are facing charges after police said they broke into Belfast High School, stole spray paint and vandalized several parts of town.
The downtown skate park is still covered in bright orange graffiti.
It was one of many spots in Belfast targeted by a group of seven vandals last week.
Police said the suspects are all kids, ranging in age from 11 to 17.
Police said the crime spree began when four juveniles ran away from a local facility for troubled youth and were reported missing.
They met up with three others and together, all seven got inside the high school through a door propped open by work crews.
Police said the juveniles rode bikes in the gym — and then on the roof — before attempting to steal a school bus.
According to police, the kids kicked in the door of a shed and stole nine cans of spray paint.
From there, they vandalized the track and some helmets, then went across town, tagging street signs and crosswalks with inappropriate images and words.
The group ended up at the skate park.
“Some of it’s nice, like the guy that comes down and does it, but this other crap just makes it look trashy and it’s disrespectful,” said Alyssa Flagg, who goes to the skate park with her boyfriend and their children.
“When kids come and make it look even worse when we’re trying to build the place up, it’s just … I don’t know, it’s not fair to us really because we enjoy this place,” Flagg said.
She said she was relieved to hear the vandals had been caught.
Police said once the missing minors were located, it didn’t take long to solve the crime — thanks in part to surveillance cameras at the school.
All seven were arrested and are now under a curfew and no trespassing order for school property.
The teens are charged with burglary, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.