3 teens arrested for Boys & Girls Club vandalism

LACONIA — A day after the discovery that the Boys and Girls Club of the Lake Region had been vandalized over the weekend, police took three juveniles into custody yesterday morning in connection with the incident.

School Resource Officer Steve Orton, accompanied by detectives, arrested the trio, all boys from Laconia aged 14, 15 and 16. They were charged with burglary and criminal mischief and released to their parents pending prosecution in the juvenile division of the 4th Circuit Court — Laconia.

Police Chief Chris Adams, president of the club, said that staff arrived to open the club early Monday morning to find "significant damage throughout the building."
He said yesterday that much of the damage was caused by water from a sink on the ground-level floor that was blocked up and left running, which poured through the ceiling and down the walls to the floor below. Adams said that carpets, furniture, books, games and were soaked while drywall and ceiling tiles must be replaced. Fire extinguishers were discharged. Foodstuffs, including ketchup, were strewn about the inside of the club and kitchen utensils were stuck into the walls. Adams said that walls must be repainted and several doors and windows replaced.

After initially hoping to return to the building in a week, Adams expected that it will be two or three weeks before the club is able to reopen. In the meantime, the building will be closed until further notice and both the pre-school program and Hands Across the Table, the free evening meal offered at the club on Tuesdays, will be suspended. But, the after-school program will operate at Laconia Middle School during the interim.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Lakes Region moved to the former St. James Episocpal Church on North Main Street in June and last month launched a capital campaign to acquire and remodel the building.