CONNIE SWINNEY • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — Investigators arrested and charged two high school students and one middle school student Jan. 24 in connection with several break-ins and property damage during a two-week period.
Authorities are scheduled to transport three males to a Texas juvenile detention center.
“We were able to get a good tip, a CrimeStoppers tip,” Burnet Police Chief Paul Nelson said. “We were able to put everything together and locate one suspect that led us to two other suspects.”
On Jan. 9, suspects caused extensive damage to a 5,200-square-foot space that formerly served as a cafeteria/auditorium on the old Burnet Elementary School campus. They entered through an unlocked door, according to the report.
Crews were upgrading the space to outfit the building for the new Burnet County AgriLife Extension Office, which is in the process of moving from the Burnet County Courthouse annex on Texas 29, as well as convert some classrooms into offices.
The county has a lease agreement with Burnet Consolidated Independent School District for use of the building.
Officials discovered a second break-in and damage in the early morning hours of Jan. 21 in the same building.
At that time, suspects broke a window to enter, caused damage with a fire extinguisher, and stole several items, including motorcycle helmets that were stored there for the district’s scholarship garage sale fundraiser.
On Jan. 23, officials reported a third break-in at the Burnet High School campus, this time in a facility adjacent to the batting cages.
Suspects stole batting helmets and other baseball equipment and damaged a number of TV monitors.
“We were able to retrieve and locate all the stolen property that was taken during the burglaries,” Nelson said.
“The first tip gave us one person. Then, we started getting other tips with the other names,” he said. “We got confessions from them.”
The suspects face several charges, including burglary of a building and felony criminal mischief.
“It’s very much a troublesome thing for the school district and the county,” Nelson said. “These are kids that need to understand this is not going to be tolerated at all in this community.”