Raven Elementary School in Tazewell County closed - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Deputies make 2 arrests in connection with a break in at Raven Elementary

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Break-in at Raven Elementary School investigated Break-in at Raven Elementary School investigated
Jeffery Ryan Hill accused of breaking into Raven Elementary School in Tazewell County, VA Jeffery Ryan Hill accused of breaking into Raven Elementary School in Tazewell County, VA
Mark Anthony Davis accused of breaking into Raven Elementary School in Tazewell County, VA Mark Anthony Davis accused of breaking into Raven Elementary School in Tazewell County, VA
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UPDATE:

Sheriff's deputies in Tazewell County have made a pair of arrests in connection with a break-in at an elementary school that canceled class on Monday.

Mark Anthony Davis, 32, and Jeffery Ryan Hill, 28, both of whom are from the Raven area of Tazewell County.  They are charged with Destruction of Property, Breaking and Entering and Grand Larceny.  Detectives were able to capture the men from tips that were left on social media.

Investigators said that several items that belonged to the school were found at the men's homes.  Those items included radios, a camera and money.  Sheriff Brian Hieatt said that there were also several items found that showed that the men planned the break in.

Davis and Hill are being held in the Southwest Regional Jail.  Sheriff Hieatt said that he hopes parents and the community feel safer knowing that the men are now in jail.


ORIGINAL STORY:

Officials with the Tazewell County Board of Education have confirmed with 59News that the school is closed on Monday morning. 

Sheriff Brian Hieatt has confirmed that Raven Elementary School was broken into.  The break in was reported at around 6 a.m. by school staff who arrived to open the building. Investigators are using tracking dogs in the school to try and pick up a scent. 

According to a release from Tazewell County Public Schools, Raven Elementary the break-in happened Sunday night around 8 p.m.  The break-in was discovered before students arrived, and kids were immediately taken to Richlands Middle School.  Parents are being notified to pick up their children at Richlands Middle School. 

The release from the school board stated that all students are safe.  They were not allowed to enter the school. 

"After the scene was secured we did call one of our K-9 units the K-9 has the capability of running a track. We ran a track and it ended a short distance from the school so we figured the suspects got into a vehicle," said Tazewell County Sheriff Deputy Mike Shawver.

Deputies said this isn't the first time Raven Elementary has been broken into, and they are fully equipped with security cameras. But suspects this time even went through the trouble of turning those cameras away from the hall.

"The chief of police suggested perhaps that we keep a camera outside the building in some of our blind spots so we will continue to look at those issues," said Tazewell County Superintendent Michaelene Meyer.

Deputies said while the students will be back in their classrooms tomorrow, this crime still has a big impact on the community.

"This school like other elementary schools in the county is the center of the community the community takes a lot of pride in the school and of course the children that come here it's going to affect them in an adverse way," said Shawver.

"I think they're going to do fine tomorrow coming in and were going to do our best to make them feel like everything is normal," said Meyer.

The investigation into the break-in is still open.