Altha Vandals

Altha police have arrested three suspects in connection with a vandalism spree at the Altha School two nights ago.

Investigators say the three teenagers vandalized the school building sometime early Tuesday morning. They were 19-year-old Christopher Vickery, 18-year-old Derek Basford and 18-year-old Anthony Dehn.

Students and teachers arrived for class Thursday to find the school doors padlocked and graffiti spray painted all over the building.

At first investigators believed the crimes may have been related to the Calhoun County school board's plans to consolidate Altha School and Blountstown High School under a new high school in the future. But they say the motive may have been much simpler.

James Baggett, Altha Police Chief, says, "It started out as a prank. They said it was going to be a prank to lock the doors, and all of a sudden they changed and decided at the last minute they were going to spray paint the building. I asked them why'd they choose to that. They said they just didn't know. They felt like just spray painting the building. They said they had watched MTV and seen it done on MYV, so they decided to do it."

Baggett says they developed Vickery, Dehn, and Basford as suspects after discovering they bought 10 padlocks and some red spray paint at the Lowe's home store in Marianna. Store surveillance cameras reportedly showed the transaction.

All three are in the Calhoun County Jail Wednesday night facing criminal mischief and trespassing charges. They're scheduled for a bond hearing in the morning.


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