Nearly every van owned by an East Bay school district has been hit by vandals, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
Sometime over the weekend, Benicia High School Vice Principal Sean Thompson said, vandals broke into the school, where all the vans belonging to the Benicia Unified School District are parked.
At this point, authorities don’t know why the vans were vandalized. They are going through evidence, even analyzing footprints left on top of the vans by vandals who jumped up and down on them.
Nathan Clemons from Complete Auto Repair and Sales in Benicia said the damage is extensive.
"They dented the door. They broke the windshield," Clemons said. "This one, they broke the back windows out. And they broke the windshield out in that one as well."
Repairing the damage done to these school vans won’t be cheap, said Clemons, estimating the damage at between $5,000 and $6,000. "It’s a lot of work," he said.
Nine of the 10 school district vans were vandalized and are now out of commission.
Benicia High School Assistant Principal Sean Thompson said between 30 and 40 stones were found at the scene, indicating the vandals were throwing them.
"They even grabbed some of pieces of metal and parts of a car that was taken apart and threw those at it," Thompson said. "I mean, whatever they could find."
Benicia Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Charles Young said the vans are used mostly for field trips and for transporting student-athletes to away games.
"It's more than just an assault on our school vehicles," Thompson said. "It's an assault on our school culture."
The bottom line is, until the vans are fixed, the district will simply have to go without.
Benicia High School officials told NBC Bay Area they are updating the surveillance system on campus to prevent future incidents.