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Hundreds of crickets freed in school; students cited

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com

Eight seniors from North Rowan High School were charged with breaking and entering and damage to property after they released about 450 crickets into the hallways Sunday night.
Police did not release the students’ names Tuesday. A Rowan County magistrate said the students were issued citations and not served with warrants that would have been made public at the magistrate’s office.

Spencer Police Chief Robert Bennett said Tony Hinson, school resource officer for North Rowan, had the complete report and was not available Tuesday because he was in training.
Bennett said eight students, all seniors, got into the school Sunday using a key.
“We are still trying to determine where they got the key,” Bennett said.
“Once inside, they Gorilla Glued most of the internal doors in the school,” he said.
Then they released “an unknown number” of crickets into the freshman hall.
“There was no other damage inside that we know of,” Bennett said.
Hinson, the resource officer, charged all eight with misdemeanor breaking and entering and damage to real property.

Rita Foil, public information officer for Rowan-Salisbury School System, said all eight students have been suspended for five days.
Custodians were able to gather most of the crickets Monday morning. An exterminator will clean up the remaining crickets this weekend when students are not in the building.

The students were charged after Principal Darrell McDowell put out an announcement on Monday requesting information about the incident.
Hill’s Minnow Farm, which sells crickets to fisherman, has videotape of the students purchasing the crickets at their store. One of the students expressed concern over keeping so many crickets alive, according to Terry Hill, the owner of Hill’s Minnow Farm, and did mention it was for a prank.  The students purchased seven tubes of crickets.

Check back for more updates.

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