Police probe BHS field house break-in

Published 6:11 pm Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson is certain that he willhave someone in custody quickly in a Friday night break-in at theBrookhaven High School Field House.

Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lea Barrett said whilethe football team was playing an away game at Franklin CountyFriday night, the field house was broken into and many of the teammembers’ personal effects were taken.

“My understanding is while everyone was at the game at FranklinCounty, someone broke in and took some of the personal possessionsfrom the players,” Barrett said.

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Henderson said the incident is under investigation, and furtherinformation will be released as progress is made on the report. Buthe said the matter will be resolved quickly.

“We will make an arrest in that in the next day or two,” he said.”We’re working on some leads, and we know we’re dealing withjuveniles here again.”

The police department just arrested three teenagers for allegedlystealing a truck, causing Henderson to call parents on the carpetfor not knowing where their children are. He brought that questionup again in the case of the field house hit.

“Again, where are the parents?” he said.

Barrett said the school district’s next step is to allow the policeto finish their investigation, and then work to prevent againstfurther incidents.

“We’re taking steps to find out to see if we need to put windowguards up, I think it was a window that was broken,” she said. “Iwant kids to feel secure leaving their things there when they leavefor a football game on Friday night.”

Meanwhile, Panthers head coach Tucker Peavey is compiling a list ofthings that went missing in the burglary, Barrett said.

“My gut feeling is we’ve had vandalism in the past, we’ve had awindow knocked out at the science building, people have broken inand taken things, and this was a crime of opportunity,” she said.”Someone said, ‘The Panthers are playing out of town, let’s seewhat’s in the field house.”

If the crime ends up being perpetrated by a student or group ofstudents, there will be repercussions, Barrett said.

“If it’s a student and there’s an arrest, the way we function inthe school district is until a person is proven guilty, they’reinnocent,” she said. “But if it has an impact on the learningenvironment of the school, we’ve moved a student to the alternativeschool. But at this point it’s all speculation.”

Henderson said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone withinformation on the field house break-in is asked to call theBrookhaven Police Department at 601-833-2424 or Lincoln CountyCrimestoppers at 601-823-0150.