FRANKFORT – Three boys were arrested and charged with vandalizing the shuttered Lincoln-Way North High School building in December, authorities said.
The three boys were arrested by Will County Sheriff’s detectives and charged with criminal damage to state-supported property, criminal trespass to state-supported property and theft, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
Two other boys who allegedly were involved in the incidents remain at large.
Lincoln-Way North High School,
19900 S. Harlem Ave., Frankfort, was broken into and vandalized allegedly by the suspects Dec. 22 and 28.
The damage included multiple doors and door frames that were broken, a broken window and water damage in the building’s science lab. Several fire extinguishers were removed from their cases and sprayed throughout the building and in the auditorium. Clothes and keys were stolen.
Sheriff’s deputies were contacted by Lincoln-Way School District 210 staff and told that the west doors of the cafeteria were found propped open. The deputies searched the building and saw the extensive damage, according to the release.
The deputies reviewed surveillance footage that showed five boys inside the school on at least two days and also captured them causing the damage, police said.
Deputies are continuing to investigate the case and expect to make more arrests.
North was closed for the 2016-17 school year to resolve the district’s financial crisis. The school, along with Lincoln-Way West, opened in the late 2000s to meet projected student enrollment growth that never materialized.
The district still operates West, Central and East schools.
District 210 allowed Frankfort Square Park District to run activity programs at North after its closure. It also was tasked with providing maintenance and upkeep of the campus grounds.
A group of parents filed a lawsuit against the district in December 2015 to block its closing, which was dismissed by a Will County judge.
Lawrence Wyllie, the district’s former superintendent who oversaw the expansion of the district to four schools, is facing federal charges of fraud and embezzlement.