DENVER - SWAT officers surrounded a northeast Denver middle school overnight night and arrested two teenagers roaming inside the otherwise vacant school, police said.
The teens ransacked several rooms before they were arrested after a three-hour standoff, according to Denver police chief Robert White.
Initial reports said the suspects were armed with long guns, likely rifles, but White later said officers believed the long guns were BB guns.
"2 armed men are inside the school," Denver police said via Twitter at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday. "SWAT team is on-scene. Nobody else is said to be in the school."
Denver Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Warneke said police sent a telephone notification to neighbors around Noel Middle School, located at 5920 Kittredge St., warning them to stay indoors.
Police told 7NEWS janitors reported a break-in at the school late Monday night. The janitors were able to safely get out of the school.
Police said the bomb squad was called in after officers saw the men were carrying backpacks and one of them had a large yellow pipe. Officers were concerned they might have explosives.
Just before 1 a.m., police used the DPD helicopter to light up the roof of the school and then Bomb Squad officers sent a robot into the school. Police said they used the school's public address system to communicate with the men.
The two teens were taken into custody around 3 a.m.
White said officers recovered the guns and two backpacks. One backpack contained a computer. White said he didn't know yet what was in the other backpack. White said officers were waiting for crime scene technicians to inspect the backpacks.
White said after the suspect's were arrested, the school was searched and should open on time Tuesday.
White said the arrested teens did not go to the school and the motive for the break-in was likely a burglary.
Police are trying to determine if these two suspects were involved in an earlier break-in at Greenwood Elementary School. At 9:02 p.m., a burglar alarm sounded at the school.
Officers said they found a broken window at the school, but it did not appear that anyone went inside.
The initial call at Noel Middle School came in at 10:10 p.m.