PHOTO: Valley Head Police reports that two have been arrested for burglarizing Valley Head High School on two separate occasions during April. (File Photo)
By Staff Reports
VALLEY HEAD, Ala. – Chief Nick Welden of the Valley Head Police Department stated that recently on two separate occasions, Valley Head High School has been burglarized. This occurred during the early morning hours of April 7 and April 19. On April 7, surveillance cameras show two unidentified subjects wearing black hoodies inside the kindergarten through second grade building between the hours of 5:00-6:00 a.m.
On April 19, footage shows two unidentified subjects with a similar description inside the kindergarten through second grade building as well as inside the main building between the hours of 1 - 2:35 am. After reviewing the surveillance footage and evidence from both instances, it was apparent that both burglaries had been committed by the same criminals. It was also discovered that a concession stand and a school vehicle had been broken into as well. Numerous food and drink items were missing as well as an undetermined amount of cash, checks, coins, and keys.
An intense investigation was launched by the Valley Head Police Department with assistance from the Mentone Police Department. After several days of reviewing evidence and developing suspsects, it was apparent the criminals were from the local area. Numerous leads were followed up on and numerous individuals questioned. Based upon these leads and interviews, it was narrowed down to two suspects who lived within walking distance of the school.
On Thursday, May 4, Waylon Robert Burton, 20, of Valley Head and Austin Lee Gilliam, 18, of Valley Head were arrested and charged with four counts of Burglary, 3rd; two counts of Attempted Burglary; Breaking & Entering a Motor Vehicle; and two counts of Theft of Property, 4th. Other arrests are pending.
Chief Nick Welden stated, “I greatly appreciate the assistance from the concerned citizens of the Town of Valley Head. The residents of Valley Head are blessed to have such a quiet and friendly town to call home. As police chief, I would like to see it stay that way. I understand that from time to time things like this will arise. When crimes like this do occur, they will be taken seriously.
"I would like to thank Principal Bill Monroe and the staff at Valley Head High School for their cooperation in this matter. I would also like to thank the Mentone Police Department for their assistance in this investigation. In cases like these, it is critical for agencies to work together," Chief Welden concluded.