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Arrests in vandalism at high school
One of four suspects is West student
britt kyle
Four arrests have been made in connection with what authorities say were two separate and unrelated incidents involving graffiti last month at West Forsyth High School.

Three teenagers, only one of whom is a current student, and a 20-year-old face a variety of charges in the vandalism, which was discovered on April 20 and 23.

Authorities said the investigation into the first case led to the arrests in the second, which was the more severe of the two incidents and included what appeared to be a bomb threat.

Wednesday night, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office charged Kyle Britt, 20, Michaela Rice, 17, and a 16-year-old female with two counts each of second-degree criminal damage to property.

Each suspect also faces one count each of terroristic threats, terroristic threats on a peace officer and false public alarm in connection with the April 23 incident.

All five charges are felonies.

Rice and Britt are each being held at the Forsyth County Detention Center on $20,050 bond.

The teenager, whose name has not been released, was turned over to her parents, authorities said.

In the first incident, the sheriff’s office has charged a 16-year-old boy with one count of criminal damage to property.

The teen's identity has not been released, however, authorities said the case has been referred to Juvenile Court.

Jennifer Caracciolo, Forsyth County Schools spokeswoman, said the teen is a student at West and has been suspended pending a disciplinary tribunal hearing. He could be expelled.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Whirlow said authorities identified the boy as a result of their investigation into the April 23 incident.

On April 20, graffiti was found on the school sign and in the bus drop-off area.

Three days later, officials arrived to find graffiti all over the building.

The writing included an apparent bomb threat and also named two administrators and the school resource officer.

Authorities searched the campus before students arrived, confirming there was no bomb.

Still, the writing resulted in a large number of students leaving school early that day.

Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said an investigation by the sheriff’s south precinct led authorities to a “flophouse” near the school where Rice lived with her parents.

“It basically was a place where there was suspected narcotics activity and teens were hanging out,” Moss said. “Some of the graffiti appeared to be verbiage that a female would use.”

He said authorities focused on the house, which resulted in the arrests of the 16-year-old and Britt. The teen's parents have not been charged.

Sheriff’s Investigator Meriann Stokes said two other minors were also living at the house.

Citing what she described as the “deplorable conditions," Stokes said the Division of Family and Children Services was notified and the children were taken into protective custody.

West Principal Richard Gill said administrators have focused on keeping the campus and students safe.

In a statement released Thursday, he thanked those involved in the investigation.

“On behalf of our administrative team, I would like to express great appreciation for the students that assisted us with tips and information to lead to the arrests of these four individuals,” Gill said.

“We also want to thank the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for its tireless support and assistance over the past two weeks.”