Crime & Courts

South Anchorage elementary school vandalized

Three people vandalized and stole from Chinook Elementary School in South Anchorage early Thursday, police and school officials said.

School security responded to an activated alarm at Chinook shortly after 4 a.m. Thursday, Anchorage police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said in an email. The school’s fire alarm was triggered shortly after that.

According to police, three people fled on foot when security arrived at the school on West 88th Avenue east of Jewel Lake Road. No suspect information was available.

Police believe the vandals used a fire extinguisher inside the school after gaining access through a window, Oistad said.

Initial estimates of the damage and theft were about $2,500, Anchorage School District spokeswoman Morgan DuClos said. Additional details about what was stolen from the school were not available, DuClos said.

A similar act of vandalism two weeks ago at Begich Middle School in East Anchorage caused around $15,000 in damage. In that incident, four Anchorage students were arrested after they attempted to light a small fire inside a portable classroom, and fire extinguisher residue was found throughout the classroom, police and school officials said.

Oistad and DuClos said they could not comment on any similarities between the two incidents because of ongoing investigations.

Jeff Parrott

Jeff Parrott is a former general assignment reporter for Anchorage Daily News. He graduated with a master's degree in 2019 from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is a former U.S. Army officer.