A Saturday morning break-in left a trail of damage and questions at the Great Plains Technology Center.
“I have not seen anything like this going into my sixth year as campus director,” said Justin McNeil on Monday. “I am really shocked and disappointed.”
McNeil led a tour through the south and west wings of Building 100 on the campus, 4500 W. Lee. The sites seen included damaged reinforced glass windows, busted glass doors and offices and classrooms littered with drawers still pulled open and paperwork littering the floor.
“He (the suspect) was in there a good two-plus hours,” he said. “Basically, what he did was make a really big mess.”
McNeil said school security cameras captured images of the suspect breaking out a window and climbing up and into a door window near the outdoor welding shop. He was wearing a hoodie and mask and carrying what appeared to be a socket wrench, which could account for the damage.
No large items have been identified as stolen, McNeil said. Televisions were taken off the walls; however, none were taken.
No computers were reported stolen. A laptop remained on one desk in one office less than 2 feet away from cabinet drawers that remained open two days later. Scattered papers were on the floor.
The suspect may have been thinking his acts would go unnoticed until Nov. 29, said Teresa Abram, marketing and communications coordinator. The school campus is closed this week for Thanksgiving break.
If Kristy Barnett, disability services coordinator, hadn’t come into the office Saturday morning, it may well have been next week before the crime’s discovery, McNeil said.
Abram said she thinks it was more an act of malice than anything behind the incident.
“I think it was strategic on his part,” she said of the suspects thinking. “I think he was more interested in vandalism.”
McNeil said that, at this point, there’s nothing that points a finger at any former or current students.
“I hope not,” he said.
Although security video cameras captured this event, the school doesn’t have an alarm system. McNeil said that may be something that’s changed in the aftermath of this event.
Abram said it was disheartening that this happened.
“Nothing like this has ever happened here before,” she said. “We just love this organization and are proud of it.”
McNeil hopes that if anyone recognizes the suspect or knows about the incident that they call the school or Lawton Police.
Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Division are leading the inquiry, said Officer Andrew Grubbs, Lawton Police information officer. He said the information has been forwarded to Crime Stoppers.
If you have any information concerning this or any other felony crime, you can call Crime Stoppers of Southwest Oklahoma, 355-INFO (4636) or submit an anonymous tip at www.lawtoncrimestoppers.com.
Written by Scott Rains: email@example.com.