Stein Elementary vandalized: Obscene graffiti, estimated $20,000 in damage to Lakewood school

Update, 3:20 p.m.: Two arrests have been made in this case, with a third suspect sought. Photos of the eighteen-year-old suspects, plus more information from the Lakewood Police Department, are on view after the original item, published at 11:20 a.m.

Grudges against colleges, high schools and even middle schools aren't exactly unknown. But elementary schools? Are preteen students capable of getting so upset about being told they shouldn't eat paste, or whatever, that they'd trash the joint?

Dunno -- but person or persons unknown (or unannounced to date) certainly did a number on Lakewood's Stein Elementary early this morning. According to a Jefferson County School District release, the school sustained approximately $20,000 in damage, including obscene graffiti scrawled in the main office, broken windows, broken doors and more.

Look below to get more details and see additional photos of the destruction:

Vandals break in to Stein Elementary

Jeffco's district security offices responded to a burglar alarm at Stein Elementary School at around 3 a.m., Wed., March 31. Security officers responded to the school at 80 S. Teller St., Lakewood. When officers witnessed suspects still in the building they called Lakewood police to the school.

The vandals left damage through the entire school including classrooms, offices, library and hallways. The damage estimates to over $20,000 and includes broken windows and classroom doors, obscene graffiti on the walls of the main office, papers and desks thrown around and computers knocked off tables.

The school's safe was also found dragged out in to the hallway.

Update, 3:20 p.m.: The Lakewood Police Department has released the names of two suspects taken into custody for the vandalism of Stein Elementary: Lee David Abeyta and Elvis Blackelk Vigil, both eighteen. A third suspect is also being sought. Below, see mug shots of Abeyta and Vigil, as well as the LPD release:

Teens Arrested in Early Morning School Burglary

March 31, 2010

At about 3:50 am, Lakewood police were called to Stein Elementary School located at 80 S. Teller St. Security officers from Jefferson County Public Schools were on scene and believed there were unauthorized people inside the school.

Several Lakewood agents including a K9 unit responded to the school and setup a perimeter. Agents could see lights being turned on and off and heard noises from inside. A short time later two suspects came out of the school, were confronted by agents and ran from the area. A brief foot pursuit took place however both suspects were taken into custody a few blocks from the school.

Detectives are currently attempting to locate a third suspect who they believe participated in the burglary. Once agents entered the school, they found extensive damage initially estimated to be in excess of $20,000. The damage consisted of broken windows, damaged furniture, computers and equipment, including musical instruments.

Those taken into custody were identified as Lee David Abeyta (12-22-91) and Elvis Blackelk Vigil (04-03-91) both are eighteen years of age.

Abeyta and Vigil were booked at the Lakewood Police Department and then transferred to the Jefferson County Jail. They face charges of second and third degree burglary, second degree trespass, criminal mischief and conspiracy to commit a felony, all of which are felony charges. Additional charges are likely as the investigation continues.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts