Police search for suspects in Kirtland school break-ins
Police are looking for two Native American males in their late teens
FARMINGTON — Law enforcement believes two males who burglarized the pool near Kirtland Middle School in July are connected to the flooding of Kirtland Elementary School earlier this month.
The San Juan County Sheriff's Office is looking for two Native American males, possibly in their late teens, in connection with the break-ins at both schools, Deputy David Smith said.
An image from security footage was posted to the sheriff's Facebook page Saturday showing two males who broke into the A.C. Warner Natatorium. The crime took place overnight on July 25-26, according to Smith. The pool is adjacent to Kirtland Middle School.
There was $491 stolen from a cash box and multiple items, including lifeguard equipment, were stolen.
Smith, a school resource officer, said the Sheriff's Office believes the two vandals are connected to the break-in at Kirtland elementary during the night of Sept. 7-8.
Burglars are accused of breaking a water pipe on the roof, which flooded several areas of the elementary school.
Hallways, classrooms and the cafeteria were flooded by a broken water pipe attached to an industrial air washer.
Central Consolidated School District officials believe the burglars attempted to use the pipe to climb onto a different part of the roof when it broke.
Three classrooms, an electrical room and the cafeteria were flooded with water when employees arrived at the school on the morning of Sept 8.
A kindergarten classroom and classes in a music room were relocated to empty classrooms in another part of the school.
The district is still evaluating damage done by the flooding, spokeswoman Renee Lucero said.
District employees recently removed some drywall in the flooded areas to let the insulation dry and were checking to see how much water remains under the roof deck.
The cost of repairing damage to the school is still being determined, Lucero said.
The district offered a cash reward for any information on the break-ins at both Kirtland schools that leads to an arrest.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call non-emergency dispatch at 505-334-6622.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.