Hughes High School trashed by former students, police say

By Jason Miles - bio | email

HUGHES, AR (WMC-TV) - Not even the superintendent's office was off limits when a quartet of crooks broke into Hughes High School early Monday morning.  

They trashed the place before leaving the message, "Ya'll got robbed by BNE."

"They call themselves BNE," said Sgt. Larry Hillis of the St. Francis County Sheriff's Department.  "Breaking and Entering Gang."

Hillis said authorities have seen the gang's signature all over the town of Hughes, but they were surprised by the scope of this latest crime.

"Several thousand dollars damage to the school, and also several thousand dollars in electronic equipment had been taken," he said.

Tipsters and one talkative suspect led detectives to the stolen loot.  Ironically, it was hidden on the roof of an old jail.  Some of it had also been tossed into a tree.  All of it is now evidence at the sheriff's office.

Projectors and laptop computers were among the items stolen.  There was even a digital camera stolen from the special education department.

"Those are tools that kids need in school," said parent Victoria McCraw.

In a town where educational resources are so precious, parents are happy the suspects were caught so quickly.

"It prevents the opportunity for someone else to get broken in and suffer the same consequences," said McCraw.

Detectives believe busting members of the so-called BNE gang will clear up a number of other unsolved burglary cases in and around Hughes.

"We're just tickled to death to have them behind bars for a while," said Hillis.

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