A 19-year-old man placed on probation less than two months ago for reportedly burglarizing Ingram Elementary School last year is in the county jail on suspicion of vandalizing and burglarizing the city’s middle and high schools, as well as a church, last week.
In addition to new burglary and criminal mischief charges against Ingram resident Cameron Scott Mitchell, two juveniles are accused of committing the crimes with him. The juveniles’ names have not been disclosed due to their ages. Their cases will be handled by juvenile court, according to an Ingram Police Department press release.
Mitchell, who was arrested June 10, and the two juveniles are accused of doing thousands of dollars worth of damage to the inside of the schools and are accused of stealing several items, although police did not disclose what the items were.
The arrests came after a five-day police investigation that began June 7, when Ingram Independent School District reported burglaries of its middle and high schools.
During the course of the investigation, officers discovered a church on Old Ingram Loop had been broken into, according to a police press release. Similar damage was done to the inside of the church, according to police, and several undisclosed items were missing.
“Coincidentally, two of the three suspects had broken into the elementary school last year and were caught by the IPD for that crime,” states the release.
Mitchell and a juvenile — it’s not clear whether it is one of the same suspects — were accused of breaking into the elementary school on Sept. 21, 2018. The younger suspect in that case was released to juvenile authorities, but it’s not clear what action was taken, as those matters usually are kept confidential by the court system.
However, Mitchell pleaded guilty to the burglary on April 24 before 198th District Judge Melvin Rex Emerson Jr. He was fined $1,500 and ordered to pay $185 in restitution and $375 for his court-appointed attorney. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he’s been able to pay those amounts.
Mitchell was not convicted of the felony, which carries a maximum state jail sentence of two years, but he was placed on probation and ordered to complete 250 hours of community service. Should he complete the probation and service, he would receive no felony conviction.
Mitchell was in jail as of Thursday on one new burglary charge and two new criminal mischief charges related to the recent police investigation, as well as the older burglary charge. The four charges each are punishable by as much as two years in state jail and a $10,000 fine.
“I would like to express our thanks to the community for assisting the Ingram Police Department and Ingram ISD with the identification and apprehension of these three individuals,” Police Chief Byron Griffin said in the release. “As always, community involvement is a key to our success.”