Police are investigating a recent uptick in vandalism at Westhill Elementary School and the nearby Sorenson Early Childhood Learning Center, according to Bothell police. The most recent of these crimes is a fire that engulfed a dumpster.
On July 1, graffiti at Westhill and Sorenson were found by janitorial staff. Most of the graffiti is “obscene” drawings of male genitalia, said Sgt. Ethan Nguyen, with the Bothell Police Department. What are believed to be signs of an intentionally set brush fire were also discovered that day.
The next day, on July 2, police responded to Westhill after reports of a fire at 5:59 a.m. By the time officers arrived the fire was already “high and mighty,” Nguyen said. The fire was so intense that parts of the dumpster melted away.
Due to the dumpster being located far enough away from school buildings, the fire did not spread to any school structures.
Nguyen said the crimes are concerning, given that they are escalating. And that those who set fires typically escalate to crimes that are more aggressive.
“This is why we want to make sure figure this out as soon as possible,” he said.
There are no suspects at this time, Nguyen said, and no surveillance footage from the school campuses. Investigators will continue to work with the school district to ensure no evidence was missed.
People with information about the incidents are asked to contact Bothell Police at 425-486-1254. The case numbers for these incidents are: 19-13368 and 19-13312. Reports can also be made on the school district’s SafeSchools anonymous reporting tool at buff.ly/2KUiq57.