Albuquerque Bilingual Academy hit by vandalism

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Video recently captured five young adults forcing a gate open at Albuquerque Bilingual Academy – but the damage went beyond there.

The state charter school is picking up the pieces from damage within the school. As a result, students, pre-K through eighth grade, will be learning remotely this week.

“We do not believe that it was actually a robbery, it was purely vandalism and destruction,” said Kyle Hunt, the school’s operations director.

Paint-splattered walls and floors, profanities on walls and storage closets – and that’s just the gym area. School officials found the damage Monday morning.

“Five vandals broke in on Sunday afternoon around four o’clock. According to our alarm company, they accessed four of our seven buildings,” Hunt said.

Looking at the video further, you can see all five young adults forcing their way in through the gate outside.

The video shows they also got into the cafeteria. One of the suspects appeared to smash watermelons with a stick.

Officials found they also destroyed musical instruments and other equipment in the music building.

“It’s really frustrating and it’s a lot of anger too. Kids looking to just destroy things just because they think it’s fun, not realizing just how much it affects our community and the community we’re trying to serve,” Hunt expressed.

Albuquerque Bilingual Academy serves around 400 students, pre-K through eighth grade. They all had to learn remotely as officials clean up the damage.

“We have our own contracted cleaning company and our employees are all helping with efforts to help clean up the campus and resecure the doors that were broken, the windows that were smashed,” Hunt explained.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time the school has had to deal with something like this. Back in April, the music building was broken into and equipment was damaged then too.

School officials believe it’s the same group of suspected vandals that targeted the school this time around too.

The school is going to have tighter security. The goal is to have students back in the classroom by next Tuesday.

If you recognized any of the suspects or have any information, contact Albuquerque police at (505) 242-COPS.