At least 10 suspects have been identified in a vandalism case that delayed the start of classes today for a school district in central Iowa. Neil Shultz, with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, says the vandals raided the Southeast Polk Schools’ bus garage and let the air out of most of the buses tires.
"There’s in excess of four-thousand dollars worth of damage. They took the valve stems and actually removed them from the tires from a good portion of the school’s vehicles," Shultz said. The damage also included fish bait and used cat litter that was spread inside many of the buses. Shultz says the bus parking area is normally fenced off.
A large section of fencing, however, was down because of some construction work. "It’s just a bad series of coincidences with the fence not being in place…it was an opportunity for somebody to get in," Shultz said. School officials delayed the start of classes by two hours this morning to give workers time to remove the fish bait and cat litter and re-inflate tires on nearly 40 buses.
Some students complained about the foul odor in the buses, which were scheduled for a more thorough cleaning in the afternoon. Shultz says some of the suspects in the case are over the age of 18 and could face charges as adults.