18-year-old burglarizes Tulsa school, costing the district thousands of dollars

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Reported by: Price McKeon
Updated: 1/25 11:05 pm Published: 1/25 11:04 pm

An 18-year-old burglarized a Tulsa elementary school early Saturday, forcing the district to spend thousands of dollars to replace damaged surveillance cameras.

FOX23 learned police arrested Wilson McKinney on Saturday morning and charged him with breaking into Gilcrease Elementary School, at 56th Street North and Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard.

FOX23 talked with TPS Police Chief Gary Rudick about why replacing these cameras won't be easy.

FOX23 learned from police that 2two surveillance cameras were broken and stripped of their wiring. Rudick said damage to this style of outside camera costs close to $5,000 to repair, and it's something that can't get fixed overnight.

“That’s crazy," Carl Shands told FOX23. Two of his children attend Gilcrease Elementary.

“That's just crazy people doing stupid things right now for ungodly reasons,” said Shands.

FOX23 found shattered surveillance cameras and copper wiring on the ground.

“Whether it's for money or whatever, they don't realize they're hurting the kids,” said Shands.

Police told FOX23 they responded to an alarm at the school early Saturday and arrested McKinney.

FOX23 learned from the arrest report that McKinney damaged two surveillance cameras, stripped them of their wiring and then broke into the school through the roof early Saturday.

“I’m not happy with that at all. That's not good," Rudick told FOX23.

Rudick told FOX23 the alarm system protects the school from burglars and the cameras protect the children by surveilling the area where the children play. Now that the cameras are broken, that surveillance will not occur.

“So, you know, if the surveillance cameras were tampered with, how do we keep the kids safe?” Rudick asked FOX23.

Even after the arrest, Shands told FOX23 he still feels uneasy.

“A knucklehead goes in the school and tampers with the security system -- who says someone else won't do the same thing next week?” Shands asked FOX23.

FOX23 found surveillance cameras outside this school that were not broken. Rudick said no interior cameras were damaged.

Rudick told FOX23 that to replace the broken cameras, the district will have to money from a previous bond or find another source.

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