School returns to normal following break-in

Florence, SC - By Brandon Herring - bio | email

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Florence Police have charged a 15-year-old boy with five crimes after a break-in at an elementary school.

Police arrested the teenager Sunday morning after they say he broke into McLaurin Elementary School on Millian Lane.

Officers were called to the school around 10 a.m. after someone tripped an alarm inside. When police arrived, they found the 15-year-old.

Florence Police Chief Anson Shells says the juvenile told officers there was a man inside the school with a shotgun. Police sent in an emergency response team to check out the situation, but no one was found in the subsequent search.

Florence Police Maj. Carlos Raines said Monday the teenager is charged with malicious injury to personal property, malicious injury to real property, burglary third degree, and providing false information to police.

The teen is also charged with ill treatment of animals because police believe he killed a pet frog in a kindergarten classroom.

The break-in caused minor damage to the school according to the Florence School District One Superintendent. Clean up and repairs were finished before school started Monday. So school continued as normal.

Some parents waiting to pick up their children at the school Monday afternoon said they had not heard about the break-in and standoff. Some of them said they wish they had gotten a special notice about what happened. Others said they had no problem with how the school system handled the incident.

"I think it's okay," commented parent Carlene Martin. "They didn't have to notify me. I'm okay about it. I feel like it's safe - nothing really happened."

Raines said the teen was taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia and will be back in Florence this week for a detention hearing.

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