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4 CHARGED IN SCHOOL VANDALISM

SHARE 4 CHARGED IN SCHOOL VANDALISM

Four young teenagers were taken to the state Youth Services Center in St. Anthony after being charged with doing an estimated $250,000 in damage to Cloverdale Elementary School in Idaho Falls.

Three 13-year-old boys and one 14-year-old boy allegedly broke into the school last Sunday. Since they are juveniles, their names were not disclosed.According to their statements to investigators, the boys used baseball bats to smash computers and started at least 25 fires throughout the building, which was further damaged by water from the sprinkler system.

The teens also tossed books, tipped over desks and scrawled obscenities on chalkboards. They were caught when the vandalism was reported to authorities by two other youths.

Shane Ibarra, 12, and his brother, Francisco, 14, were walking near the school when they ran into one of the youths outside. He was throwing a stereo from the school into a canal.

"I asked them what he was doing," Shane said. "He said they were lighting fires at the school."

The brothers followed the boy back to the school and looked inside. The building was filled with smoke, but they recognized the boys as classmates of theirs from Rocky Mountain Middle School.

Shane Ibarra said he could not believe the extent of the damage. "I told them they were stupid," he said. "They started laughing."

He and his brother went home and called police.

Bonneville School Superintendent Tom Campbell said insurance is covering the damage, but he hopes the youths or their families will at least be required to pay the policy's $1,000 deductible.

Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Kent Higgins said if convicted, the boys could be liable for a portion of the damage into their adult lives. State laws allow courts to assess some damages against children's parents, but the maximum is $2,500 per child, Higgins said.

Campbell had another suggestion.

"If they give them back to me on work detail, they'd spend one hard summer working," he said.