MIDDLETON, NS - Two youths have been arrested in connection with graffiti vandalism at Annapolis East Elementary School and Rotary Park in Middleton.
And police will be stepping up patrols in the area.
RCMP District Commander Staff-Sgt. Dan MacGillivray said it was a combination of help from an outraged public and good police work that led to the arrests of a 17-year-old boy from Lawrencetown and a 16-year-old Nictaux boy.
On July 14, Annapolis District RCMP received a call reporting that the elementary school in Middleton and an adjacent park had been vandalized the previous night,” police said in a media release July 20. Two suspects were caught on surveillance video, spray painting obscene words and pictures on the school and park structures.
Police said the video, along with some investigative skills of the RCMP officers, resulted in two youths being arrested for the incident.
The cost to repair the damage to the school and park is estimated to be approximately $3,000.
Both youths have been released on conditions to stay away from the school and park.
Both are scheduled to appear in Annapolis Royal Provincial Court on August 27.
“I can say the community was outraged by that particular crime, I don’t think that’s too strong a word. As District Commander I appreciate the assistance the public offered to help solve this crime,” Staff-Sgt. MacGillivray said. “That, in combination with good, solid police work some suspects were identified, arrests were made, and interviews took place.”
Staff-Sgt. MacGillivray said an increased police presence and community awareness are vital in preventing further vandalism, noting it was a year ago similar damage was discovered at the park. While the two cases are not related, and arrests were also made in the 2017 case, McGillivray said plans are in place going forward.
“We’ve been in touch with the Town of Middleton and we have looked at strategies for increasing patrols there,” he said. “We are committed to getting our bicycles back on the road. That program has been dormant here for a few years, but we’re committed and I think as early as this weekend the public should see increased patrols. We’re hoping to see the bikes out as well. That’s a nice deterrent and it’s an efficient way of getting through those communities, those paths in that area.”
“We are grateful for the fast turnaround on this case, allowing staff and volunteers to move into unfettered high gear for the Heart of the Valley festival this weekend,” said Andy Kerr, Programs and Communications Co-ordinator for the Town of Middleton.
The investigation is ongoing.