Gulf Shores High among local schools vandalized

By Melanie LeCroy / melanie@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 7/14/21

High schools across the area, including Gulf Shores High, were damaged by a group vandals last week.

On Wednesday, July 7, officials discovered that high schools in Foley, Fairhope, Daphne, …

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Gulf Shores High among local schools vandalized

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High schools across the area, including Gulf Shores High, were damaged by a group vandals last week.

On Wednesday, July 7, officials discovered that high schools in Foley, Fairhope, Daphne, Bayside Academy and Gulf Shores had been broken into and vandalized. Authorities suspect the vandalism occurred sometime between the morning of Friday, July 2 and Tuesday, July 6.

According to Gulf Shores City Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Akin, the break-in at Gulf Shores High School occurred at 2 a.m., Tuesday, July 6. The vandals spray painted walls and doors and stole an undetermined number of items. They also ransacked classrooms, the lunchroom and kitchen. Akin estimates the damages alone at over $3,000. The incident is under investigation by the Gulf Shores Police Department.

The five vandals were caught on surveillance cameras in several schools and are seen wearing Bayside Academy clothing. Jon Cardwell, principal of Fairhope High School wrote in an email to parents that it was discovered the same group of vandals broke into Bayside Academy and stole gear from the locker room.

At Fairhope High School, Cardwell believes the five vandals broke-in at 1:15 a.m. July 2. While in the building, the vandals stole a bronze replica of the Pirate statue from the front lobby. It has since been recovered.

Foley High School’s gym and locker room areas were broken into and several buses on campus were spray-painted with vulgarities. The vandals broke into Daphne High School’s athletic buildings and caused several thousand dollars in damages.

Gulf Shores Police Lt. Jason Woodruff said investigators are still trying to determine how the vandals gained entry to Gulf Shores High School, but they have determined no force was used. Investigators estimate they were inside for up to two hours.

During a news conference Thursday, July 8, Sgt. Jason Vannoy with the Daphne Police Department announced all five suspects had been identified and the department was contacted by the individual suspects’ lawyers. Three suspects turned themselves in July 8 and the remaining two on July 9. All five were released into their parents’ custody.

Some of the stolen items had been recovered at the time of the news conference and Vannoy said officers still had some areas to search. The Fairhope pirate statue was turned over to police by one of the suspects.

Police say the juvenile suspects claim it was all about a high school rivalry. Vannoy said all five attend the same high school but would not release which school. He did say it was not a high school that was vandalized.

All five suspects will be charged as juveniles. Gulf Shores Police Department is seeking charges for burglary, theft of property and criminal mischief. Each police jurisdiction will send up their charges to the juvenile court.