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Local teen damages school property to look 'cool', take part in social media trend, police say

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Sep 16, 2021

A teen was arrested for stealing school property on Thursday. Police said the teen did it to take part in a social media trend.

Bartow police said they were informed of damage to a boys' restroom at Bartow High School. Two soap dispensers, valued at $45 each, were removed from the wall.

A soap dispenser was found in a restroom sink and the other was missing.

Police said the school resource officer did find the teen who did it and arrested him for criminal mischief and theft.

The teen told the school resource officer he did the damage to look "cool" and take part in a social media trend. On TikTok, teens are filming themselves damaging or stealing school property as part of the trend.

A video showing the teen stealing property was also found.

"I do not think it is cool to damage and steal property at your school. I hope that his arrest sends a strong message to those who are thinking about taking part in the senseless social media craze. While at school, learning is cool; stealing and damaging are not. Hopefully, this young man learned a valuable lesson today that committing a crime is not cool," said Interim Chief Bryan Dorman.