BELLINGHAM - Law enforcement and school authorities still had no leads Monday, March 18, on who broke into Wade King Elementary over the weekend and vandalized the school.
The school doesn't have security cameras, but it does have an alarm system, though that wasn't triggered in the Saturday night break-in, Bellingham School District spokeswoman Tanya Rowe said.
The Whatcom County Sheriff's Office is still investigating how the vandals got into the school, Undersheriff Jeff Parks said. Authorities believe more than one person was involved in the vandalism. Parks said it was still too early in the investigation to comment on any evidence found inside or outside the school.
While the burglar alarm didn't go off, the fire alarm did, notifying authorities about 10:20 p.m. It was set off by the powder discharged from fire extinguishers as the vandals drained eight of those, covering classrooms, offices and common areas in a thick white dust.
Firefighters from South Whatcom Fire Authority responded to the fire alarm and discovered that the school had been badly damaged by vandals. Crews then called in law enforcement.
Staff and volunteers spent Sunday cleaning the school and fixing damage so that Wade King could be open Monday for classes. The extinguishers were replaced Sunday, Rowe said.
This week, staff will continue to go through the school's inventory to see what, if anything, is missing. No damage estimate was available Monday.
The district is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who has information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the incident. Parks didn't think the sheriff's office had received any tips by Monday afternoon.
Anyone with information about the incident can call the sheriff's office main number at 360-676-6650 or the tip line at 360-715-7459, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.