A Closer Look at NRHS Vandals…Jan. 6, 2016
By Ann Needle
Law enforcement is once again looking for community assistance in identifying the youths behind vandalism that occurred at Nashoba Regional High School last spring. This time, Bolton Police are hoping some help from high tech and social media may yield more clues as to those behind the incident.
On Dec. 31, Bolton Police posted enlarged stills on its Facebook page from video footage taken of vandals that broke into the high school on May 12. In most cases, the vandals’ faces are hidden behind hoods and masks.
According to accounts from the Bolton Police, early on the morning of May 12 NRHS staff opening the school discovered vandals had smeared the walls with what appeared to be compost, drew graffiti on lockers with Magic Markers, and posted copies of a pornographic photo.
Though the damage was reported to Bolton Police by NRHS staff early that Monday morning, the police were not called until after custodians cleaned the mess before students arrived for class. While security cameras in the hallways captured images of the approximately five vandals, “Unfortunately, the kids disguised themselves very well,” remarked NRHS Principal Dr. Parry Graham.
The idea of publishing enlarged still photos of the perpetrators from the video was raised by the Nashoba School Committee at its November 23 meeting. The police then sent the footage out to a state police vendor that has the technology to extract enlarged stills from video footage, according to Bolton Acting Police Chief Warren Nelson. (Also at that SC meeting, former Superintendent Michael Wood noted that the district is looking at adding cameras to the high school surveillance system.)
Graham said the ongoing investigation has centered on members of Nashoba’s Class of 2015. Should any of the then-seniors from May be identified in the stills, they would be subject solely to legal action rather than school discipline, Graham said. But, he stressed, “If there are people who are still students here at the high school, we would pursue disciplinary action.”
The police have not received any new leads from the December Facebook post, but has noted many people sharing the stills with their Facebook connections, Nelson said.
“Honestly, we’re simply hoping it [the stills] will spark interest,” Nelson explained. “It’s a good time to refresh people’s memories – somebody may have something to tell us.”
The video stills are posted on the Bolton Police’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/boltonpolice. Anyone with information on the incident should contact the Bolton Police at 978/779-2276 (any tips can be anonymous). Nelson also mentioned that Bolton Police soon will be adding an anonymous “tip line” to the department, which should hopefully encourage residents to contact police regarding the high school vandalism or any other crime in the town.