Vandals shatter windows around Magna school, neighborhood

May 10, 2024, 6:21 AM | Updated: 9:52 am

MAGNA — Neighbors in Magna are wondering why vandals are targeting their neighborhood. There’s been a couple of incidents in the past week, including tens of thousands of dollars of damage to the junior high.

Police are now investigating the different incidents to see if they’re connected.

As kids played in yards, laughing and screaming Thursday evening, an ice cream truck drove down Centennial Road in Magna with its cheerful music floating through the air.

Drivers made their way down the street, arriving home from work. Families went out for an evening stroll, and a jogger ran down the sidewalk.

For an active neighborhood, Richard Nolasco isn’t used to the kind of “terrible” action they’ve been seeing lately.

“We’re trying to figure out as a community, like, if anyone saw anything,” he said, of the vandalism that neighbors have been experiencing.

The first incident came after the Granite School District said Unified Police Department officers discovered broken windows all over inside and outside Matheson Junior High Saturday morning. They believe people broke into the school Friday night, wreaking havoc.

“That included breaking out windows, windowpanes, door windowpanes, glass cases,” explained district spokesperson Andrea Stringham. “They broke into the fire extinguishers, set those off within the school, also broke out AEDs and ruined those.”

Stringham said they have to replace 140 pieces of glass, with the damage totaling at least $50,000.

Vending machine windows were among the 140 pieces of glass broken by vandals. (Granite School District)

It left 30 staff members scrambling to clean up all weekend and make the school safe for students to arrive Monday morning.

Stringham said police identified and booked four juveniles into juvenile detention for the crime, who are former Matheson students. She said they were released back to their parents.

“It’s a really heartbreaking, devastating situation that former students would do this to a school,” she said.

Several doors are covered up with plywood at Matheson Junior High. (KSL TV)

Then, just a few days later on Wednesday, Nolasco explained that his family discovered the passenger window of their car smashed out, with glass scattered all over the street and inside the car.

He wasn’t the only one to awake to the damage.

“There was multiple neighbors that got multiple cars damaged,” he said.

KSL TV spoke to several people, all who live on a few different streets in the area of Matheson Junior High, who said they found their windows shattered Wednesday morning. One woman sent pictures, saying all three vehicles in her driveway had their back windows blown out.

One of the several vehicles hit by vandals near Matheson Junior High. (Karina Favela)

Another neighbor said the driver’s side window of his work truck was destroyed, and he had to make a homemade plastic temporary window until he could replace it by himself. A few other people confirmed they, too, experienced vandalism.

“You know, even themselves, they were wondering why, you know, what happened or if we were targeted in a way,” Nolasco expressed.

As police investigated a second time, he and most of the other neighbors said they’re paying out of pocket to replace the windows. Nolasco shelled out $300.

“We were actually saving that money for something else,” he said. “So we had to use it for just something that we really didn’t need to.”

An expensive inconvenience, as everyone wondered why this happened and what all the action was for.

“I’m pretty sure everyone’s day that day, was not a good day,” Nolasco said.

UPD said they are investigating if the vandalism at the school and the vandalism across the neighborhood are related. They’re urging anyone who lives around Matheson Junior High to check their surveillance, especially Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Anyone with information on the vandalism should call 801-840-4000.

The driver-side window of a truck is shattered, and the owner says he’ll have to replace it with his own money. (KSL TV)

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Vandals shatter windows around Magna school, neighborhood