One juvenile and three young men — Dakota Norwood, 18; Jordan Miller, 18; and Samuel Hazelton, 18 — were taken into custody just a short time after officials at Cleveland Middle School arrived and found damage at the campus. Cleveland High School was also vandalized, according to Evie West, information officer for the CPD.
Detectives and crime scene investigators responded to the middle school and found damage throughout the building.
Video cameras captured images of at least three people wearing bandanas over their faces who were damaging windows and doors, overturning bookshelves, and taking computers and iPads from school property.
According to Lt. Robert Harbison, the burglars/vandals entered the building around 2 a.m.
West said one of the suspects was “left outside the building as a lookout.”
Harbison and detective Matt Jenkins “investigated a lead that came from a traffic stop conducted by Officer Tracy Maxfield on Paul Huff Parkway at 3:49 a.m. The information retrieved on that stop led lieutenant Harbison and detective Jenkins to a residence on Navaho [Trail]. After speaking with some individuals at the residence, it was determined that the individuals were involved in the burglary,” West said.
“All four suspects were transported to the Cleveland Police Department to be interviewed and confessed to the burglary, theft and vandalism. It was also revealed during the interview that Cleveland High School was also burglarized. The case is being further investigated by CID,” she added.
After their arrest, detective Steve Ross identified Norwood, Miller and Hazleton, and one male juvenile. They are charged with burglary, theft over $10,000 and vandalism over $10,000.
All stolen property was recovered and will be returned.
Harbison added initial damage estimates totaled more than $11,000 with theft estimated at $10,000.
Dr. Martin Ringstaff, director of Cleveland City Schools, described the acts as “senseless.”
“It’s sad and unfortunate; they made a horrible decision to do this,” he said.
“They turned their lives in a negative direction,” Ringstaff added.
Ringstaff said Hazelton and Norwood had just graduated from Cleveland High School. Miller was not a student in either Bradley or Cleveland school systems and the juvenile was a current student in the city school system.