DENVER (CBS4) – Police in Denver arrested two teenagers early Tuesday after they allegedly broke into a school in the northeast part of the city with BB guns and then ransacked several rooms.
Late Monday night police and SWAT teams surrounded Rachel B. Noel Middle School, located at 5290 North Kittredge Street, after janitors said they saw two males carrying weapons breaking in at approximately 10 p.m.
Denver Police Chief Robert White said a HALO surveillance camera showed images of the juveniles with what appeared to be long rifles and a sack, but he later said the guns were “more than likely BB guns.”
Police said there were no students, Denver Public Schools employees or staff inside the school at the time of the break in. The suspects got in by breaking a window with a rock.
The school was placed on lockdown while police and SWAT teams surrounded the building and then entered the school and engaged in a “cat and mouse game” for a while, according to Denver Police Chief Robert White.
The suspects surrendered sometime before 3 a.m. and didn’t have weapons with them when they were arrested. White said authorities then searched the school for any possible explosives or weapons and found backpacks and what appeared to be BB guns. One of the backpacks had a computer in it, but police so far haven’t said what else was inside.
White said the two juveniles were 15 and did not attend the school.
Police said several rooms in the school were also ransacked.
“Preliminarily, the intent appeared to be a burglary,” White said.
A reverse 911 call went out to residents in the area but no evacuations were ordered. Police also said they have not heard of any threats made to the school or any other DPS school in recent days.
Noel Middle School is in session on Tuesday.
“It should be a pretty much normal day for the students,” White said.
One parent dropping off her student Tuesday morning called the situation troubling, but she said she feels confident the school is safe.
“It’s a little freaky that kids are out here with guns,” said Sandra Bivin said. “It sucks, but it happens everywhere, so I can’t really freak out about this.”
Police say the teens are connected to an attempted break in earlier in the morning at Greenwood Elementary. There was also an alarm at Montbello High School that went off and police are looking to see if there’s a connection at that school as well.
The suspects should be in court Wednesday.