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Peninsula High Campus Vandalized

Custodians find graffiti at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School on Nov. 16. The school's principal warns others who might be thinking about vandalizing the school.

Graffiti that covered the amphitheater and track, in addition to other buildings and school surfaces, was found by custodians Nov. 16, marking the first time in years there has been a major act of vandalism at the school.

In an email to students and staff Sunday, Peninsula Principal Mitzi Cress said "the damage and graffiti was widespread." Graffiti was also found on the Hawthorne building, Panther Hall, storage containers and the path to the snake pit, she wrote in the email.

Most of the graffiti was painted over or power-washed before students arrived at 9:30 a.m., she said.

No "major vandalism incidents" have been reported in recent years, Cress said in the email. Graffiti was also found at the school in February 2002.

"This behavior is not considered a prank," she wrote. "It is criminal behavior and a police report has been filed. Juveniles who sneak out in the middle of the night to vandalize a school campus will be arrested and prosecuted. Parents will be held responsible for their children’s behavior. ... For those thinking of perpetrating these type acts, beware: you will be caught, arrested and prosecuted."

Cress offered a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for marking the school with graffiti. Originally a $500 reward, Principal Nick Stephany also donated an additional $500.

Anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call Cress at 310-377-4888, extension 200, Stephanie Scott at extension 691 or Greg Puccia  at extension 273.

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