ROSEVILLE, Calif. – Five California teens face hate crime charges after they allegedly vandalized two Roseville schools with swastikas, gang slogans and other racist graffiti.
Roseville Police responded to Buljan Middle School around 7:30 a.m. Sunday after a school employee reported vandalism to the inside and outside of the gymnasium, as well as other buildings, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Police found the school’s snack shack broken into and sodas missing, as well as a busted roll-up door, a discharged fire extinguisher, a broken window and the graffiti, which included the N-word and other racist messages. The officers then found similar graffiti at nearby Vencil Brown Elementary School and damage at Buljan Park, Roseville Police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther told the news site.
“They discharged a fire extinguisher and sprayed it all over the gym,” middle school custodian Kevin Schumacher told KXTV.
He also pointed to the coach’s office, where officials found “the n-word, spelled out.”
Roseville police Lt. Doug Blake said there were also messages that “said white power with a swastika,” as well as signs for the Latino gang Norteno.
“Not only is this type of graffiti rare in Roseville but both of those things together, you have a pretty standout crime,” Blake said. “I don’t think somone that would do something like this would even calculate how much it would hurt somebody or put someone in fear, and that’s why it is such a serious crime.”
Evidence led police to a residence in Roseville, where they found five boys, the used fire extinguisher, and sodas believed to have been stolen from Buljan Middle School. At least two of the boys lived at the residence, where officers also recovered “evidence of drug sales” and a gun from one of the teens.
The suspects, ages 14 to 16, were arrested for “vandalism motivated by hate,” burglary and conspiracy and booked into the Placer County Juvenile Hall. Gunter would not reveal the race of the students when contacted by EAGnews.
KXTV reports the teens were all white males.
KTXL reports Sunday’s damage follows a very similar stunt at Buljan Middle School in June, when vandals caused $5,000 worth of damage to the school to steal $25 worth of candy and soda.
Roseville City School District Superintendent Derk Garcia sent a letter to parents about the most recent vandalism, though he did not reveal that it contained racist graffiti and the teen subjects were arrested for hate crimes.
“Our staff immediately began working to clean up the campuses to ensure our schools are ready for students on Monday morning,” the letter read. “It is disappointing that anyone would inflict damage to a school. We are extremely thankful to our police department for their diligence.”