UPDATED: Police investigating vandalism at schools - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATED: Security camera shows vandal at Waterloo schools

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Waterloo Police are investigating several incidents of spray paint vandalism, found at Waterloo West High and Central Middle Schools and the surround neighborhoods.  Despite the large amount of graffiti and obscene language in the messages, district officials say there was never a threat to student and staff safety. 

But even without a viable threat, some students did opt to miss class Thursday.  Students and staff first discovered the vandalism at West High early Thursday morning when arriving for before school activities, like band practice.  Some students were reportedly frightened by the messages and eight students did sign out of West High early.  But non left Central Middle School.  Even though it appears to be an isolated incident, the district and neighbors are angered and want to see whoever's responsible caught.

Class and activities continued at Waterloo West High and Central Middle Schools continued as usual Thursday after being vandalized.  While graffiti at the schools was cleaned up quickly, just across the street from West High, neighbors are still looking at the damage left behind to homes, vehicles, and street signs.

"I'm totally disgusted.  These people work hard in this neighborhood.  This house over here was just remodeled to be put up for sale.  This lady on the corner, this is the second time they've done this to her," said neighboring resident Susan Vogel.

Vogel had left a cart out at the end of her driveway with some items she wanted to give away.  The freebies were taken and her cart ended up down the street, left with spray paint stains.

"Parents need to keep track of where their kids are and keep them home.  They don't need to be out after midnight.  I came home at midnight and none of this was here.  My husband gets up at 5 and he saw the police here.  So in between midnight and 5, this was done. Parents need to be held responsible for what their kids are doing," Vogel said.

The Waterloo School District says such criminal damage to its buildings and neighborhoods is simply unacceptable.  And staff spent part of Thursday talking to students about the serious consequences of this kind of crime.

"We're working with police to prosecute this criminally.  And these kinds of acts are just not going to be tolerated," said Sharon Miller with Waterloo Community Schools.

There's a good chance that whoever's responsible will be caught.  Surveillance video at West High School shows the suspect in the act.  The district is offering a $500 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.  If you have information, call Waterloo Police at (319) 291-4339.

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