Authorities were called to the Orange County school at 3005 N. Apopka Vineland Road about 1 a.m. Tuesday by an unidentified tipster who saw people throwing boxes over a fence behind the Pinewood Elementary School. The culprits may have gotten into the building by removing a board that had blocked a window broken in a previous burglary.
Orange County deputy sheriffs, who investigated the break-in, searched the school with a trained canine and followed a trail from the building to the site where they arrested James Darrell Rogers Jr., 21, who lives within walking distance of the school. Rogers was in possession of a white bin containing chocolate milk, cheese and salad dressing. He also had spilled milk on his clothes, deputies said.
During the break in, cafeteria coolers were left open and packaged meats scattered on the floor; cartons of chocolate milk were spilled; a window was smashed open; and a freezer door was ripped off its hinges, according to deputies who located a hammer that could have been used to break the window and pry open a metal gate. It had blood on the handle.
A school security officer estimated the loss at more than $10,000, including vandalism and spoiled food. Rogers was held in the Orange County Jail on charges of burglary, criminal mischief, petty theft and trespassing on school grounds.