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Crime & Courts

Officials: Vandal leaves sinks running at Sandburg, damages classrooms

ELMHURST – In an alleged act of vandalism, two science classrooms at Sandburg Middle School in Elmhurst were damaged over the night of Jan. 6 into 7.

Elmhurst Deputy Chief of Police for Administration and Investigations Michael McLean said Jan. 16 that the police and fire departments responded to a fire alarm Jan. 7 and found nine sinks were turned on in a second-floor classroom and there was damage in a first-floor classroom, including in the ceiling tiles.

McLean said it appeared a building door was unsecured over the weekend. Police were still investigating the incident as of Jan. 16.

"I'm just kind of shocked and disappointed. ... Those kinds of things don't usually happen to us," Sandburg Principal Linda Fehrenbacher said Jan. 17.

Fehrenbacher said the water from the science classroom on the second floor went down through the floor and the wall into a first-floor science classroom. It took a couple days for the classrooms to "dry out," and the school relocated classes for those days, she said.

John Morser, building manager for Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205, said the door was left ajar over the weekend, and officials deduced someone came in through the door.

Ceiling tiles, books and paper were damaged, and the district in-house team cleaned up with wet vacuums, Morser said. The district is still going through the damage costs, he said.

Elmhurst Deputy Fire Chief Bill Anaszewicz said Jan. 16 there was at least $5,000 in property damage.

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