Valley Authorities Catch Vandals in the Act

March 20, 2008 7:20:16 PM PDT
Police believe Hanford brothers Aaron Sims and Alex Ryan are responsible for five burglaries at schools in Hanford.Police found the vandals at about 1:30 this morning. They had smashed through this window, the schools are on spring break.

Maurice Robinson, Hamilton School Custodian: "They broke these drawers open so all these doors the locks and the mechanisms underneath them."

Custodian Maurice Robinson showed us the path burglars took as they scoured through Hamilton school's administration building.

Maurice Robinson: "So what they did was they kicked through this door right here. And this is a fire rated door this took a lot."

The vandals took these cell phones and Maurice's mp3-player that he left sitting on his jacket last night.

Maurice Robinson: "I feel a little violated that they would come in and do the destruction that they did and take some of my personal merchandise, yes."

Early Thursday morning police arrested brothers Aaron Sims and Alex Ryan just a block from the school. They say the two have a lengthy record of burglaries.

Bryan Toppan, Hanford Police Investigator: "We're looking at about 13 laptop computers, camera equipment, video equipment. There's been a lot of damage done to the classrooms and the offices where they've been getting into."

Investigator Toppan says Sims and Ryan are also responsible for breaking into four other schools. Earlier this week at George Washington Elementary School there was a similar theft at the administration office.

Windows are still boarded up at Hanford High School. Police say the brothers broke in three weeks ago taking this video equipment, they say, last July the two stole over a dozen laptops.

With the brothers in custody, Robinson is hopeful the rash of burglaries is over.

Robinson: "I think the main thing is now taxpayers won't have to pay for these people to be out there damaging the schools the way they've been doing."

The two suspects were already on probation for other burglaries they were convicted of. People here at the school tell me they're just happy they were able to get everything fixed and cleaned up before the students return from spring break.


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