Archive for Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Police probe break-in at Tonganoxie school

December 29, 1999

As part of their investigation into a break-in Tuesday morning at Tonganoxie junior high school, police turned to an explosive-detecting dog from Fort Leavenworth.

"We don't have any indication of anything other than we had a break-in at the junior high, and we're doing this as a precaution," said Tonganoxie police Officer John Putthoff.

Late Tuesday afternoon, the dog made its way through the junior high school, which was the target of a break-in about 5 a.m. Tuesday. In addition, the dog combed Tonganoxie High School. Nothing was found.

Putthoff said no calls or notes regarding a possible bomb had been received or found by police, but he preferred to err on the side of caution.

Putthoff said it appeared that nothing was taken during the burglary. But two windows were broken, one to enter through doors on the southeast corner of the building and the other to gain access to the school's main office.

Police actually were alerted to an alarm at the high school building about 4:50 a.m., Putthoff. Minutes later, he said, the alarm sounded at the nearby junior high school building. It is not clear, Putthoff said, whether anyone actually entered the high school building.

This is the second time in a week that the school district has been the victim of a crime. Between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Dec. 21 also a Tuesday vandals broke the tire stems on 14 Tonganoxie school district buses. Nine of those buses were parked at the junior high school, and the others were parked at drivers' homes. The damage to about 30 tires was estimated at $5,000.

Putthoff said he's obtained several leads in that case, but added that he didn't know if it was related to Tuesday morning's break-in.

"That'd just be speculation," he said.

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